I learned a ton of craft from the Storywonk podcasts, but one thing that was a bit wearing is that it seemed like Lani and Alastair had to, eventually, agree on every opinion. (This happens in Lani and Jenny Crusie's podcasts too.) I get it, I'm like that in real life--I strengthen my opinions and knowledge by going head to head with people. But it's harder to listen to.
So one of the strengths with Writing Excuses is that you have 4 people but they can give totally contradictory opinions, and those opinions are allowed to just stand. (Example in this Q&A cast.) It's always pleasant, relaxing to listen to. And the 15 minutes / once per week format is perfect--the material doesn't get repetitive.
# 1 - Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 2: Keeping it Real with Aprilynne Pike - A good one for historical or speculative fiction. How do you make your world seem real without getting lost forever in Research Land, and without infodumping. Their best trick comes up in a few casts, which is to make several small, not very important elements totally authentic (type of horse, dress, meal) and the reader will have faith that you know all the rest. ;-)
# 2 - Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 6: Dramatic Breaks - About when to end scenes and chapters. There's some interesting stuff in here, like Dan's system for ending each chapter on a specific emotional note.
# 3 - Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 7: Genre Blending - A fun little post, with an interesting theory about why Joss Whedon's Firefly didn't take off, after the immense popularity of Buffy and Angel.
# 4 - Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 11: Trimming - Variety of tips for tightening your writing.
# 5 - Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 14: The Four Principles of Puppetry, with Mary Robinette Kowal - The boys were looking for a fourth for their group, and were so wowed by this discussion they eventually got Mary on board. She's really smart and witty, a perfect addition. Here she takes principles from puppetry and applies them to writing.
# 6 - Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 23: How to Write Without Twists - There's a few episodes about twists and cliff hangers, how to do them right, when not to do them. This was one of the first discussions.
# 7 - Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 27: Mixing Humor with Drama and Horror - As a humor writer I love all their casts on it. This one is about blending humor into a serious novel.
# 8 - Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 31: Tragedy - And for good measure, how to write the sad stuff.