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Sometimes, I just listen.

Recently I’ve gotten into a podcast called Writing Excuses, its topic, as you might guess, is writing fiction.  Its tagline is: “Fifteen minutes long because your in a hurry and we’re not that smart.”

It features Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells and Howard Tayler, which of the three, the only one I knew about before clicking the link was Howard, who does the excellent and enormous comic, Schlock Mercenary.  The other two write novels and publish them the traditional way, as in through publishers.  The conversations are wide ranging and unlike most podcasts of this nature, stick on topic.  Not a laser focus mind you, think more of a wide angle plasma gun.  Its much more fun that way.

The contrast between the writing styles of all three is both enlightening and amusing.  Its particularly fun to watch Howard squirm when the subject of planning things comes up.  However on every subject, all of them have truly useful insights and advice.  I’m learning more than I ever did in an english class.

I have not had the opportunity to check out Brandon and Dan’s books yet, but I’ll have to see if I can find them the next time I’m up in Amsterdam.  Schlock however just ate two days of my life and I heartily endorse giving the whole think a read through.  If your starting from the beginning, give it at least 50 strips to hook you, the payoff is worth it.

Give it a listen.  Writing Excuses

***Edit to correct the spelling of Howard’s name.

2 Comments

Writing Excuses is brilliant and definitely worth the time to start from season one. I’m not familiar with Dan’s writing, beyond a very funny review of Mary Robinette Kowal’s new book. I’m less than halfway through the Sanderson co-written Wheel of Time book and I really can’t tell any difference from Robert Jordan’s earlier books.

Have you checked out I Should Be Writing or The Dead Robot’s Society? Neither are as focused or as accomplished, but are still very fun and inspiring.


Have listened a few eps of Mur Lafferty’s I should be writing, but I find it to be a bit too long and meandering. I prefer Writing Excuse’s shorter conversations. I’ll probably archive dive through it once I finish consuming all the writing excuses podcasts.

I’ve never heard of Dead Robot’s Society, I’ll look it up.


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