My Favorite 10 Episodes of The Writing Excuses Podcast
by Robert Poulin
The Writing Excuses podcast has been one of my favorite shows for many years now. The show features 4 terrific writers talking about writing. These include; Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn and Wheel of Time), Mary Robinette Kowal (The Regency Series), Dan Wells (John Cleaver series), and Howard Taylor (Schlock Mercenary graphic novels). Another thing I like about this podcast is its tag line "Fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart'. This is mostly a true statement, the show is fast and really does try to hold to the fifteen minutes, and everyone is very busy. What's not true is that these fine writers aren't smart; they are and they give tons of great advice. The show has run for nearly 9 years now and there's almost an episode a week, that makes for an extensive library. Here are my favorite 10 episodes, the one's I personally found most useful to my writing.
The Writing Excuses Podcast is here: http://www.writingexcuses.com/
1. 9:13 Three Pronged Character Development: A model for character development using sympathy, competence, and proactivity. This episode came after I'd written Wail of the Banshees and Death Toll but it will be of great use in the future. Each of these is getting its own episode starting with sympathy this past week.
2. 9:19 Showing Emotion: A must listen, this discussion is incredible. Learn how to show emotion without your characters seeming whiney.
3. 8:21 What the Avengers Did Right: Amazing movie, amazing podcast. This isn't a review of the movie, it's an analysis of the writing. Don't miss this episode.
4. 6:2 Internal Motivations: Why do your characters do what they do. Creating characters that aren't flat. Good learning episode.
5. 8:22 Pre-Writing with E.J. Patten: Kids hunting monsters with weapons made out of garbage, need I say more? Interesting discussion about everything you might do to prepare to write you novel.
6. 7:41 Seven-Point Story Structure; A model for building scenes and whole stories. The brainstorming part of the episode is a little confusing but the model is worth learning about.
7. 5:3 First Person View Point: A good lesson on why and how to write in the first person view point.
8. 5:5 Writing the Unfamiliar: One piece of advice often given to writers is "write what you know". Fiction writers break this rule all the time and this episode not only tells you that this is ok, the authors tell you how to do it.
9. 5:17 Dialog Exercises: Learn how to do good dialog by doing the exercise. This is a real eye opener and a fun activity.
10. 6:10 Scott Cards M.I.C.E. Quotient: The authors explain and discuss Orson Scott Cards M.I.C.E. concept that he writes about in Characters and Viewpoint and How to Write Science Fiction.
There are many, many more great episodes but these 10 are a good place to start.
Ghost Wars Saga
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ghost Watch Publishing
Date of Publication: June 2014
Number of pages: 324
Word Count: 96,000
Cover Artist: Hannah Carr
What started out as a routine call led to so much more…
My name is Veronika Kane, and I’m the Captain of the Ghost Watch in the reborn city of Shadow Philadelphia. After we disposed of the city’s previous master and his minions, things were looking up, but in war things are never that easy. A routine call with Detective Frank Cooper blew the cover off of an elaborate scheme to plunge the city of brotherly love into chaos. When Necromancers, Were creatures, and the horrors of Chaos come together it can’t mean anything good.
With new and old enemies joining forces against us, I’m going to need all the help I can get. Lucky for me, my old friend Frank Cooper will be there to lend a hand, along with Brianna, a strong willed were-ferret, and the stormy eyed wizard Nathaniel Carter. I just hope it will be enough to save everyone.
This time, our enemies aren’t just attacking us in Limbo; this time, they are taking the battle to the streets of the living world and its unknowing citizens. If the Old Ones rise, I don’t think there will be anything anyone can do to stop them.
My name is Veronika Kane, and this war is far from over.
About the Author:
Robert Poulin was born and raised in the New England state of Connecticut. After spending his late teenage years in Boca Raton Florida, Robert moved to upstate New York where he lived with his uncle Wilbrod Poulin and attended the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. After earning a Bachelor's in Political Science and a Master's in Teaching, Robert went back to Florida where he taught Social Studies for a few years.
After returning to Northern New York, Robert took a job with the North Country Center for Independence: a disability rights and advocacy organizations. Robert has worked for NCCI for thirteen years and is now the Executive Director. Wail of the Banshees is Robert's first novel; he has been a huge fan of fantasy and science fiction since second grade when he discovered The Hobbit.
Urban fantasy in particular has become Robert's favored genre in the past decade. Robert has been legally blind since infancy, but thanks to a mom that encouraged independence, hard work, and a healthy dose of dreaming, the disability has mostly just been an inconvenience.