October 10, 2012

Podcasts for Writers

Yesterday I recommended podcasts for readers. Naturally, all those book discussions and author interviews have a lot of value for writers as well, but today I'm going to cover podcasts that are all about the writing process:

Writing Excuses is a very focused podcast from some very focused writers. Their slogan is "Fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart," but that last part is false modesty, given that the hosts are successful professional authors from a variety of genres. Each week they discuss a specific writing problem or technique, such as using a city as a character or writing from the omniscient viewpoint. Occasionally they pick apart a work by one of the hosts, as in this episode analyzing an outline. Every episode is packed with great examples and ideas, and I always learn something from listening. While the time constraint keeps the discussion on topic, there's also a good deal of joking around among the fun group of hosts. The podcast has been running weekly since 2008, and I only tuned in about a year ago, so at some point I'm planning to go back and explore the archives for topics I'd particularly like guidance on.

The Deceptionists is in some ways the opposite of Writing Excuses. The hosts write fiction on an amateur basis, and the episodes are sprawling discussions that usually run at least an hour. The show resembles the conversations I have when I get together with my writing buddies, with plenty of debate and ideas to ponder. Each episode covers a broad aspect of storytelling, for example, characters or setting. When I discovered the show not long ago, I saw that there was a logical progression to the topics, so I decided to start at the beginning (there are 24 episodes so far, and I'm listening at a faster rate than they're broadcasting). In this way, I'm getting a sort of writing class experience out of the show. There's even a workshop component in which the hosts read from their own work. I was very taken with the first story contribution, How Smitty Smokes a Cigarette by David Accampo.

Obviously, this list of recommendations is far shorter than yesterday's. I know there are many podcasts about writing out there, but I haven't come across any others I really enjoy. Please tell me about your favorites!

Good Stuff Out There:

→ Nathan Bransford discusses Writing as Catharsis: "Even in the course of writing a wacky space adventure, I was still channeling myself into the novel. We all do, whether we're writing precisely about what we've gone through or not."


Laurenhat said...

Yay! Also big yay for the reading podcasts, but I'd been specifically meaning to ask for a reminder of the name of Writing Excuses, and kept forgetting. :)

Lisa Eckstein said...

Then yay! I think you'll enjoy the show, and I believe you're familiar with the writing of a couple of the participants.

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