Writing Excuses Podcast

Brandon Sanderson has written several of my favorite books, Alloy of Law, Steelheart, Firefight, and I am currently reading Mistborn. He has being doing a podcast called Writing Excuses, for awhile. I just found it and I am working my way through Season 1. The episodes are about 15-17 minutes long and he talks to two other writers. I think they change based on scrolling thru the later seasons.

After listening to the first two episodes I am in process of developing a new story. Episode 3 was like a punch to the gut, Kill Your Darlings, was about more than just editing. They advised if you have a story that you have poured years of effort into and not finished it. Kill it.

I almost cut the podcast off then and there. After catching my breath and calming my racing heart, I was like no let’s see why they are saying that, after all they have a whole lot more experience than I do. The reason they suggest killing a long term project is distance, well the lack of distance. There is very little chance that you will be able to coldly and mercilessly edit the manuscript. They said you are too emotionally attached to it. They did say instead of throwing it completly out, to set it aside until you have become a better writer and can edit it properly. That makes me feel a little better. At least enough to listen to episode 4. I’ll keep you updated as I listen along.

If you are doing Camp NaNo this summer, I applaude you. And I encourage everybody to keep writing, keep painting, drawing, knitting, sewing etc. Keep being creative and keep moving forward. Cheers, james

Story Idea: Werewolf/Human Plotting

Hello dear readers. Thank you hanging out with me as I have tried to wander my way through a writing life. Some days are more sucessful than others. I was listening to Writing Excuses, Brandon Sanderson’s podcast. Something they said in Season 1 episode 2 was marry a mundane thought with an extrodinary thought. I tossed it around and looked at it as they were talking and I got hit with an idea.

What if a werewolf was bitten by a human on a full moon night?

Mundane thought: werewolf/human interaction.

Extrodinary thought: human bites werewolf

So next question I asked myself is Why?

Why would a human bite a werewolf? How would the human even have a snowball’s chance in Miami if the bite was delivered? How would the human know they were biting a werewolf in the first place?

So the answers I came up with lead to two different stories. One a comedy, “hold my beer and watch this” kinda of accident, with the werewolf becoming human and trying to fit in the human world while trying to get back the werewolf part. And the human becoming a werewolf and having to figure out being wolfy.

The second one is darker. Dying human thinks health and vitality will be restored by stealing a werewolf’s curse. Then sending henchpeople out capture a wolf, susprise they actually grab a were. The night of the full moon, set up a ritual and the dying person steals the were’s curse/power/mojo. Bad guys releases the former werewolf while the bad guy gets healthy and goes on to do bad guy things. And at some point the werewolf would challege bad guy to get their mojo back.

Still in a plotting/thinking stage, however it is more writerly behavor than I have had in months. Both stories appeal to me. I think the second one would have a better chance of making it. While the first one seems to me to be the more unique.

I belong to the NaNo group on fb, and I posed to the idea to them. Biggest response I have ever had to anything. Most thought it was a sound idea as long as I took a humorous approach. Nobody much commented on my second theory on the idea. Some were completely turned off by the whole idea and some were like “Yeah, I’d read that”.

So now the work begins with seeing if I can cook up an outline for one, both or possibly merge the two ideas in one story. One commenter said to set the tone similar to Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman in Good Omens.

So wish me luck as I go off to plot and see if maybe I can get some writing mojo back. Cheers, james