Podcast Rec No. 8: Writing Excuses

Writing Excuses PodcastDo you like writing? Me, too! Do you hate the act of writing but love having written? That is a more accurate interpretation of my feelings on the general question I asked a moment ago!

I love anything regarding the creative process, which I touched on in my last podcast rec for Magic Lessons. I particularly enjoy reading and hearing about the writing process because it is so varied from daily rituals to structuring story. However, the problem with many of these materials is that they act as the foremost authority. And I have issues with authority. Well, quiet, stifled issues--I don’t like authority, but I also don’t want authority to be mad at me.

This is why I like Writing Excuses, which lives by its tagline: “Fifteen minutes long because you’re in a hurry and we’re not that smart.” The show is hosted by a roundtable of genre authors including Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler. The set-up of each episode flows like this: introduction to topic, discuss circumstances of topic, how a writer might handle the topic, and a writing exercise for the listener. So simple, but also informative and entertaining.

Recommended episode: 10.1, "Seriously, Where Do You Get Your Ideas?"

Season 10: Master Class is my favorite of the show because it follows the arc of creating a book from start to finish. Obviously, you want to start with an idea. Which is why I suggest this episode. However, the author hosts break down what makes an idea interesting and finding new elements that will elevate it. And then once this episode is done, keep listening for additional advice and tips. Does every single step work exactly? Not in my case, but I am learning that I have a different process from the typical prose writer. I’m already planning a re-listen to the whole season because I loved the information that much. However, I will add an addendum to their suggestions: Advice is great and can be applicable, but you do you.

Running time for each episode: 15 to 20 minutes.

KC Ryan is currently a Level 5 student at DCH. An office worker by day, she spends her nights writing, improvising, recording podcasts, and having existential crises. She’s a co-host of Parsec Award-nominated podcast Anomaly Supplemental about general sci-fi and fantasy topics. Her greatest achievement so far is convincing her husband to watch Project Runway.