Today I would like to take a look at the Writing Excuses Podcast. If you aren’t familiar with what a podcast is, take a look at this definition for more information. Basically it is a web radio talk show that can be listened on a PC or some type of MP3 player. (Such as an iPOD.)
“Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.”
Their tagline is a good introduction to the podcast. It is only 15 minutes long, but they love to throw in quirky humor. The speakers are Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, a few others, and often a guest as well. While the podcasts are rather short, I find them enjoyable and very valuable as a writer. Tips, writing prompts, and advice are common themes in just about every episode. Personally what I enjoy the most is hearing how the different writers overcome difficulties they have run into with their work.
Episodes come out typically every Sunday evening and have a weekly writing prompt. Now I haven’t done much with the writing prompts, but it is something I think I might start doing for myself. All in all it is an interesting time and helps me look at my own work. On one recent episode entitled “Trunk Novels” they discussed when to reuse old work, reworking old novels, and what exactly a trunk novel is. (It is actually pretty straight forward once you think about it.) This episode gave me some ideas on how to approach some of the work I do have finished or notes on.
Another particular favorite recent episode of mine is 4.31, “Line Editing Dialog.” A great episode where they actually read dialog from the writers along with examples that were sent in. It was interesting to hear the different opinions on the dialog presented. I liked this episode because dialog is one area I am constantly revising in my pieces and never feel I get it right. So learning more from experienced authors really can’t hurt.
I could go on and list more great episodes, but you get the idea. While I don’t listen to many podcasts, this one is at the top of my list and if I get behind – I get caught up eventually. If you are a writer it is well worth your 15 minutes a week. It just might make you smarter 😉