Writing Excuses is a short podcast ("It's 15 minutes long because you're in a hurry and we're not that smart.") featuring professional authors Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Taylor and Dan Wells talking about every imaginable writing topic under the sun. Seriously. There are 10 seasons of this podcast and some of them have more than 50 episodes. You do the math.
This season, season 10, they're trying something different. Season 10 is a workshop, a master class, complete with exercises, covering the scope of speculative fiction writing from idea creation through a complete and saleable story.
Because its a podcast, you can listen to the episodes whenever you want and participate in the workshop on your time. They're only 4 episodes into the season. Plus, any of the exercises they're recommending now, they've already discussed in some episode of the podcast, and they're linking back. It's all available here. Go. Do it. It's free. You owe it to yourself.
The Writing Room Report:
The prompt for this meeting asked each writer to contribute a historical setting (e.g. The Civil War) and a character complete with age, sex and one interesting attribute (e.g. an 85 year-old woman with a cleft palate). Onto that foundation, each writer found a way to build a speculative premise, and the writers who read aloud revealed some fascinating stories beginning to take shape. We hope to see some of them at critique meetings soon!
We're offering a prompt to those of you who couldn't attend the Writing Room:
Your main character is a man who travels through time every time he sneezes.