Over the past few years I have scoured the net for writing craft resources (then promptly devoured them), and there have been a number of stand-outs which have been really useful. I’d like to write about several of these here, if anything just to acknowledge how much I have appreciated them.
First and foremost is the ongoing podcast Writing Excuses. Only 15(ish) minutes long, it comes out once per week (Monday’s Australian time) and always covers a different aspect of writing. The episodes generally discuss a particular technique or skill, an element such as self-publishing, talking about various characters, dealing with certain problems etc.
I listen to Writing Excuses while I walk to work on a fantastic little podcast app for iOS named Downcast (the podcast app that came native to iPhone was a piece of crap). There’s little to no issues these guys haven’t covered, though my favourite episodes have been when they’ve sat down together and brainstormed an idea. I actually wish there were more of those!
The podcast is hosted by four very successful authors and I think the best part about this is that each of them has a completely different style and sometimes approach. In a nutshell, Brandon Sanderson writes epic fantasy, Dan Wells horror, Mary Robinette Kowal writes…well to be honest, I don’t really know how to classify her style, perhaps Victorian fantasy? And Howard Tayler is behind a long-running web comic called Schlock Mercenary. The sum of the four of them always amounts to very interesting perspectives, or different ways to tackle the various topics discussed.
They also regularly have special guests where they’ll discuss a particular author’s style, or give us a behind the scenes look into the publishing industry, with various guest editors/agents/publishers etc.
If you’re a beginning writer like myself (who likewise has plenty of excuses not to write) and like me are gobbling up every conceivable piece of information on the craft, then I highly recommend Writing Excuses.