Writing Excuses 8.37 — How to Handle Epic Failure

writing-excuses-mastheadIn this episode of Writing Excuses, you’ll learn how to minimize (and possibly even reverse) the long-term effects of E.F.D.: Epic Failure Damage!

Have you ever said or done something really stupid in public? After it happened, did you quickly and heroically douse the flames of controversy like a professional spin doctor? Or did you go to your ‘warrior place’ and start an epic flame war against any and all takers? If you chose the latter route, and deeply regretted it afterwards, then this episode of Writing Excuses is for you! Continue reading

Dead Robots’ Society 285 — Time to Self-Publish?

dead-robots-society-mastheadWith traditional publishing going through an existential crisis, should today’s writers think about running their own show?

If you work in the publishing industry today, then you know we’re living in interesting times. Digital media are now replacing dead-tree books, and many of the larger publishing companies are focusing only on A-list authors and other safe bets, at the expense of their B- and C-list writers, as they batten down the hatches and prepare for rough financial seas.

So, does this mean it’s time to give up the dream and return to your dead-end counter or office cubicle job? Far from it. Continue reading

Writing Excuses 8.35 — Strategies for Discovery Writing

writing-excuses-mastheadIn this episode, Jeph Jacques and the Writing Excuses gang look at the potential perils, pitfalls, and epiphanies of discovery writing!

Discovery writing is an exciting way to develop a story, a creative process without any framework, where you simply let the words and ideas flow from your pen. Authors such as James Thurber and Stephen King have used it, with great success.
However, if you’ve ever tried discovery writing yourself, you may have run into one possible downside to this technique: writing yourself (and your characters) into a corner that only a deus ex machina or an extensive rewrite can fix. Continue reading

08.18.13 — Sunday Podcast Roundup

sunday-podcast-roundup-mastheadThis week on the Sunday Podcast Roundup, Roman Mars of the 99% Invisible Podcast tells you where to find the best beer in the world; Captain Jeff of Airline Pilot Guy reports on rogue spiders attacking air traffic controllers; and Chris Kenneally of Beyond the Book gets the details on the 166-million-dollar settlement in the big e-book price-fixing case — and how you may be entitled to some of it!

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•• 07.08.13 — Sunday Podcast Roundup ••

sunday-podcast-roundup-mastheadHere are the latest episodes of some awesome podcasts from around the web. I haven’t reviewed any of them yet, so you may want to check the respective sites for more information before you download. Enjoy!

(Oh, wait! You can also find information about the below podcasts on my About the Podcasts page.)

•• General Interest ••

Starting with Airline Pilot Guy, Captain Jeff talks about a near-miss in New York and the latest on the FAA’s views on using electronic devices on planes.

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Spotlight on PUBLISHING

Maxim_the_cat_by_Mamaguri_at_flickrWhere it’s at, where it’s going…

Do you have a fictional masterpiece trapped in the back of your mind, just dying to be read by mobs of screaming fans? Do you get a little buzz every time you think about seeing your name on the cover of an actual published novel?
Hey, me too!
But…do you feel slightly less buzzed when you think about dealing with editors? agents? online booksellers? the whole nasty, soul-destroying process of bulldozing your beloved story through the frigid slush pile of modern publishing, and into the sweaty, grasping hands of soon-to-be fans and personal stalkers?
Hey, me too!
Fortunately, there are a lot of generous people out there who are willing, through the magic of podcasting, to share their experiences and knowledge with aspiring Stephen Kings and J. K. Rowlings such as ourselves.
In this ‘Spotlight on Publishing’ series, you’ll find links to the best interviews and discussions that I’ve found on the web. You’ll take a front-row seat as writers, publishers, agents, and other industry insiders trade their experiences and battle scars. By connecting you to them, I hope to make your journey less intimidating, and (hopefully) a lot more fun.
Enjoy ☺

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spotlight on Grammar

••NEW•• Grammar Girl Episode 366 — The ubiquitous slash symbol


“This is a really interesting development, because although English often gets new verbs and nouns, it’s rare for English to get a new conjunction…”—Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty, aka Grammar Girl, looks at some strange, recent developments in the use of the slash symbol (/). This leads to a general discussion of how texting has affected English in ways that are counterintuitive to the “it’s abbreviating us to death” argument. Listen slash learn slash be amazed!

Find it here.

[Runtime: 11 min]

masthead background: cap and tassel clipart, by Krzysiu Jarzyna | Source | CC

Spotlight on Brainstorming Story Ideas

<<< Writing Excuses Episode 8.10 >>>

“What if your pony is actually an uplifted Chihuahua brain implanted in a pony?” -- Mary Robinette Kowal

“What if your pony is actually an uplifted Chihuahua brain implanted in a pony?” — Mary Robinette Kowal

No, Mary isn’t off her meds. She’s helping Brandon, Dan, and Howard brainstorm an upcoming installment of Schlock Mercenary, Howard’s awesome online sci-fi comic strip.

This is definitely one of the more surreal brainstorming sessions I’ve heard on Writing Excuses,  but as always, it’s great fun! So grab your recreational drug of choice (mine is Sudafed) and tune in as our intrepid co-hosts “cry havoc and let slip the uplifted Chihuahuas of war!” (apologies to Mr. Shakespeare)

Find it here.

[Uploaded March 10, 2013 — Runtime: 20 min]

masthead background: country road in winter, by Bert Kaufmann | Source | CC