Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What I Listen To - Writing Excuses

This past September, when I started listening to podcasts on a regular basis, I searched around for fiction writing podcasts.  One of the first ones I jumped on was a weekly podcast called Writing Excuses.  The main reason for this was because of my love for fantasy novels, to see if there were any that I could listen to in order to give me a little insight into the publishing industry, and the first name to jump out at me was Brandon Sanderson, a best-selling fantasy novelist.

Writing Excuses is in their seventh season, and I can honestly say I've downloaded every single episode.  Their tagline is: "Fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart."  Which is a total lie, because the four podcasters--all accomplished authors--are geniuses.  And one of the biggest pluses to listening to this podcast, aside from the wealth of information they provide, is that their podcasts really are about 15 minutes long.  Which is perfect for me as I manage my time.  For the first four or five seasons, it was just three podcasters, Brandon, Dan, and Howard, and they added one more to offer a unique perspective.

The four authors on this podcast are:

Brandon Sanderson - fantasy novelist, who finished out the Wheel of Time series due to Robert Jordan's untimely passing, as well as several of his own, including The Way Of Kings.

Dan Wells - horror novelist in the "I Am Not A Serial Killer" series, and has also expanded recently into sci-fi and fantasy.

Howard Tayler - cartoonist in the long-running webcomic "Schlock Mercenary."  And I do mean, long-running, for he started in June of 2000 and has not missed one single day ever since.  That's the pure definition of persistence.

Mary Robinette Kowal - historical fiction novelist, with her first Tor book Shades of Milk and Honey, as well as a professional puppeteer and voice actor.  Mary is the newest member of the podcast, coming in around season 4 or 5, I think.

All four blend such a unique perspective on the various aspects of fiction writing.  On occasion, they record when they are away at conventions and they also have guests on to explore other writing issues.

Here is a video taken at a convention, where someone is describing the podcast in front of Howard.  The best piece of advice on this is when Howard tells the guy he is a writer instead of aspiring one.

Here are two YouTube videos from two of their podcast sessions.  These would be from season 5, and the only one missing was Brandon Sanderson, although they do have a guest speaker: David Farland.

And, as they say at the end of each podcast: "You're out of excuses, now go write."

I will.

And you should to.

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