Current Projects
Stormlight 4 & 5 outlining
100 %
Starsight (Skyward 2) final proofread
100 %
Stormlight 4 rough draft
76 %
MTG: Children of the Nameless release
100 %

Writing Excuses Patreon + Updates

Writing Excuses, my podcast, now has a Patreon.

Patreon is a different kind of crowdfunding vehicle. Here, instead of giving money to fund some product, you give a little money each month to support an ongoing artistic endeavor. In turn, based on how much you are pledging each month, you get rewards.

I have no intent to start a Patreon for my own writing. I feel you already support me in that more than well enough. I have the freedom to write the books I love, and the best thing you can do for me there is just to read them. (And maybe suggest them to your friends.)

Writing Excuses is a different beast. It’s meant as a public service, primarily for writers, but really for anyone who is interested in the process of telling a story. If you haven’t ever listened to it, I suggest starting with the first episode of Season Ten, last year’s run.

Writing Excuses has a lot of costs associated with it. We feel it’s important to do in person, because of the chemistry of the hosts, so we spend a lot on plane tickets. We also hire audio engineers, buy expensive equipment, and (perhaps most expensively) request the time of the various hosts and guests. Up until now, we’ve used advertisements from Audible to support the podcast—and they’ve been truly awesome to work with.

However, this is exactly the sort of thing Patreon is for—letting the fans support, and have ownership, over their podcast. So if you listen, or are curious, take a look.


We’re basically doing two reward levels. (There’s also $1 tip donation, and a few higher donations for those who want to give to a scholarship or really support us. But the two main donations levels are the middle ones.)

$5 a month gets you early access to the podcast, a standard thing for Patreons like this. You’ll get to listen to them a few days before everyone else.

$10 a month is the sweet spot. This is where we’ll be providing bonus content. We promise one cool item a month, though it’s my goal to give more than that. We’ll see how it plays out.

This month, I sent in the first chapter of a novella I worked on while flying to the Middle East last month. It’s about 3k words, along with some commentary on a revision issue I’m trying to figure out for the story. I hope to be dropping things like this in often—little previews of what I’m working on, or deleted scenes, or commentary on snags I’ve had while writing.

I hope that the podcast, and the tidbits we’re adding as a thank you, are helpful to all of you out there! Many thanks for the support over the years.


In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, Elemental Idea Q&A, Shannon Hale joined us at LTUE 2016 to field questions about the Idea elemental genre. Here are the questions:

  • How do you keep an elemental idea story from feeling like you’re just waiting for the idea to “unlock”?
  • How do you tie your character motivations to the idea?
  • How do you know when you’ve satisfactorily explored the idea?
  • Are there elemental idea stories that you just need to give up on?
  • Is there such a thing as “idea clutter”?

Last week, in’s continuing reread posts for Words of Radiance, we finished off Part Four, when Kaladin and Shallan returned with their contributions for the upcoming expedition. This week, in Part Four Epigraphs, we’ll take a step back and examine the letter comprising the epigraphs of Part Four.

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter post archive for March.

|   Castellano