One of the problems that aspiring writers have is that they have never taken a writing course. I sadly fall into that category. Many writers underestimate the usefulness of such education. Structure, plot, editing, rewriting, brainstorming, outlining, world-building, and character development, are just a few of the things a writer should understand.
Fantasy Author, and Creative Writing Teacher, Brandon Sanderson, has thankfully given us a solution to this lack of education: Writing Excuses. Writing Excuses is a podcast that focuses on various aspects of writing. With the help of Cartoonist Howard Taylor, Horror Novelist Dan Wells, and Novelist Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon discusses topics that are relevant to creative writers everywhere. Often funny, these 15 minute podcasts, touch upon broad ranging topics related to writing.
I stumbled upon a link to the podcast on Brandon Sanderson’s Website, www.brandonsanderson.com. I had been listening to The Wheel of Time novels by Robert Jordan. I had only heard of these novels in passing and had not taken the time to listen to them until recently. I work as an overnight stocker for the world’s largest retailer and can listen to audiobooks as I work. The Wheel of Time series offered me literally weeks of epic fantasy listening. It was through this series that I had discovered Brandon Sanderson.
Robert Jordan died in 2007 before completing The Wheel of Time, and the publisher hand selected Brandon to finish the series. The final volume of The Wheel of Time, called A Memory of Light, Will be released on January 8th, 2013. (I already have the audiobook preordered at audible.com).
Brandon has also written the Mistborn series and The Stormlight Archive, The Way of Kings, which is one of the best fantasy novels I have ever read.
Writing Excuses has a lot to offer writers. It has taught me to be more focused, more thoughtful, and more willing to make mistakes with my writing. Often I have found that I want a polished manuscript the first time, and keep rewriting a scene to make it perfect, at the expense of writing the rest of the story. Everyone will find strengths and weaknesses in their writing, but the writing process will help you perfect your craft. Give Writing Excuses a try, and who knows, maybe you’ll learn something you needed to hear. All right you are out of excuses, now go write…