February 24th, 2011

BrainUnderRepair
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Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 16: Breaking the Fourth Wall

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 16: Breaking the Fourth Wall

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/04/25/writing-excuses-4-16-breaking-the-fourth-wall/

Key points: Breaking the fourth wall is a term from theater, when an actor addresses the audience (who were behind the invisible fourth wall). Narrators can have knowledge that characters can't, and address the reader, without breaking the characters or story in quite the same way. Anything that reminds the reader that this is a book breaks (or at least bends) the fourth wall. Once is too many, but the writer has to hit the happy medium if they are going to break the fourth wall.
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[Brandon] All right. I'm going to force Isaac to give us a writing prompt.
[Isaac] Awesome. I was thinking about these different cultures. In the Philippines, one of their kind of pseudo-cusswords is [they san anok nun pating? Roughly?] which means, "son of a shark!" So your writing prompt is to write a story where somebody is really a son of a shark and breaks the fourth wall which happens to be the glass wall at an aquarium.
[Howard] But no lava girl.
[Brandon] But no lava girl. All right. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.
Smile
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Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 17: Living with the Artist

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 17: Living with the Artist

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/05/02/writing-excuses-4-17-living-with-the-artist/

Key points: Watch out for mood swings. Be aware that it's a long process, and scary. Support your artist! Space and time and working together.
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[Dan] All right. I think that wraps it up for this week. We're going to close with a writing prompt which Howard is going to give to us.
[Howard] Can I use blue Italian monkeys?
[Dan] [hesitantly] Yes...
[Howard] Okay. Your writing prompt comes to you from the AP style book... the fake AP style book. Something involving a blue Italian rocket-propelled monkey piloted dirtbike.
[Maniacal laughter]
[Dan] You're out of excuses, now go write.
BrainUnderRepair
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Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 18: How to Steal for Fun and Profit

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 18: How to Steal for Fun and Profit

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/05/09/writing-excuses-4-18-how-to-steal-for-fun-and-profit/

Key Points: All artists incorporate their experiences. History and mythology provide a mine of experiences and relationships that you can use. Avoid plagiarism, make it yours. Or hang a lantern on it, make it an homage. But don't use borrowing as a shortcut -- use it as a buttress for your originality. Try combinations!
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[Brandon] I think that it's a great idea. In fact, I'm going to give our writing prompt this week as being... I want you to go... I want you to go to Howard Tayler's website, schlockmercenary.com. I want you to click the button that says "click here to instantly teraport to some place inside the archives."
[Howard] [whistle]
[Brandon] I want you to take whatever strip shows up, read the next three or four, and have it... use it mailed in with some other concept to create a new story.
[Dan] Something wholly original.
[Howard] If you can stop reading after just three or four, that's probably best for you. You don't want it to cost you hours and hours of your life.
[Dan] Otherwise, you won't get any writing done.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
BrainUnderRepair
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Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 19: Discovery Writing

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 19: Discovery Writing

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/05/16/writing-excuses-4-19-discovery-writing-2/

Key Points: Outline or write, that was the question? Map and plan your road trip, or get in a cool car and take off? False starts may be your friends. Throw some interesting characters in interesting situations and see what happens? Start with characters talking? Discovery writing helps show us who the characters are. Do your characters suggest things and do their own thing? You may be a discovery writer! Don't be afraid to use some structure if it helps. Advice for endings -- analyze what you've written, identify the Chekhov's guns you've hung, and pull those triggers. Brainstorming with other people is outlining for discovery writers. Discovery writers revise -- go back and make it solid. Think of your first draft as a really detailed outline. Fix it in post.
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[Brandon] All right, Howard, discovery write us a writing prompt.
[Howard] Discovery write us a writing prompt? You know what, we're going to do Brandon's improv technique. Okay? Wherever you are right now, unless you're in your car, look around and pick six unrelated items. Pick six unrelated items.
[Dan] You can do this in a car, just don't crash.
[Howard] They're going to be related, because you're on the road. Okay, six unrelated items and weave them together in the first chapter of your discovery written thing. Knowing that at least two of them are Chekov's gun's that are going to prove to be important throughout your story.
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BrainUnderRepair
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Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 20: Strategies for Getting Published

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 20: Strategies for Getting Published

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/05/23/writing-excuses-4-20-strategies-for-getting-published/

Key Points: Great writing and lots of it, first. Using social media to build an online following can help your career. Write, submit, write more, keep submitting.
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[Brandon] Writing prompt. Books on the inside of your eyelids.
[Dan] Yes. Printing on human skin, for whatever reason, 1000 years in the future becomes the most economical and publicly acceptable way to publish a book.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. We had way too many tangents in this episode, so maybe you do have a few excuses. But go write anyway.
[Howard] On human skin.
[Brandon] Don't write on human skin.
[Howard] On human skin.
[Brandon] Like on Howard's.
[Howard] OK. No human skin, please.