Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Nathan Lowell: Hurray, Hurray, First Of May
    Grassin’ season starts today! Actually it’s cold and wet here. We’ve had snow all weekend. Several bits of good news. Podium’s edition of Quarter Share is available for pre-order. Release date is May 10. The Starbound anthology – with Exile in it – is free for a few days. Grab it while you can. It’ll be coming down soon and the story will come home. My plan is to put it in the… ... read more
    Published on Sunday, May 1st, 2016
  • Gareth Powell: REVIEW: Nova by Samuel Delany
    Written when the author was in his late twenties, Nova is a swaggering, heady smash-up of gritty space opera and serious literary ambition. I first discovered it in 2001, when Gollancz reissued it as part of their ‘SF Masterworks’ series, and it’s a curious beast of a book, inhabiting as it does the largely unmapped … Continue reading REVIEW: Nova by Samuel Delany ... read more
    Published on Saturday, April 30th, 2016
  • Cavan Scott: Doctor Who Free Comic Book Day 2016 Sneak peek!
    It’s just one week until Free Comic Day, and here are some sneak peeks of this year’s Doctor Who Free Comic Book Day issue. It has four stories, including a brand new Ninth Doctor adventure with a script by myself and art by the wonderful Mariano Laclaustra. There are also adventures for the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors, from their comics’ creative teams, including Nick Abadzis, Robbie​ ​Morrison, Si Spurrier, Rob Williams, Eleonora Carlini,​ ​Rachael Stott, Simon Fraser, and… ... read more
    Published on Saturday, April 30th, 2016
  • Cavan Scott: Bananaman gets heroic in this week’s Beano
    Have you picked up this week’s Beano yet? It includes the second part of a new Bananaman adventure by yours truly and Wayne Thompson. As usual, it’s full of bad puns! I’m also chuffed that Wayne included a tribute to the more ‘heroic’ Bananaman that original artist John Geering used to draw in the early days of the Nutty back in the 80s. Here’s John’s version: That brought a warm glow of nostalgia… ... read more
    Published on Saturday, April 30th, 2016
  • Cavan Scott: Check out the Encounters of Sherlock Holmes Japanese Edition
    This is just lovely. All the way from the Land of the Rising Sun comes a Japanese edition of Encounters of Sherlock Holmes, which includes my story ‘The Demon Slasher of Seven Sisters’. Take a look at that amazing cover… And here’s my title-page inside… And the story itself… How fantastic is that? This edition only contains half of the contents of Encounters of Sherlock Holmes, and also includes stories by Mark Hodder, Mags… ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 29th, 2016

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • WriterUnboxed: Writing as a Small Sturdy Boat
    Photo by Julia Munroe MartinPlease welcome Bethany Reid as our guest today. Bethany earned an MFA and a PhD from the University of Washington. Her poetry, essays, and book reviews have appeared in regional and national journals, including Blackbird, Santa Clara Review, Prairie Schooner, Pontoon, Calyx, Studies in the Novel, The New England Quarterly, and Twins. Her chapbook, The Coyotes and My Mom, was published in a limited edition in 1990 by Bellowing Ark Press,… ... read more
    Published on Sunday, May 1st, 2016
  • Dean Wesley Smith: Had Fun Working in Our New Bookstore
    Fun Working in Our New Bookstore Yeah, that’s right, WMG Publishing will, in short order, be the owner of a brick and mortar bookstore. It’s a large area inside of the new Pop Culture Collectables store. Actually one third of the entire store is paperbacks, hardbacks, sf and mystery digests, and magazines. Another third of the store is a comic book store. Wait until you see the wall of comics. I’ll do pictures. And in the… ... read more
    Published on Sunday, May 1st, 2016
  • The Write Conversation: You Were Made for Home
    by Danetta Kellar @DanettaKellarHe who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” -Psalm 91:1-2It took me several years after returning to the United States from Africa to get used to living in a secure home. Every time it rained, I would fight the urge to check all the… ... read more
    Published on Sunday, May 1st, 2016
  • Mythcreants: 2 – New Friends, New Enemies
    Our heroes return to a galaxy far, far away. This time they deal with the fun and happy topic of forced relocation and terrible working conditions. Then, to brighten the mood, we hear about some of the horrors inflicted by the Empire. But hey, at least they make some new friends! http://mythcreants.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Session%202%20Final.mp3Download Session 2      Related Stories1 – The Dismaying Return72 – Escalation71 – Character Customization  ... read more
    Published on Sunday, May 1st, 2016
  • Dean Wesley Smith: Workshops and Store
    Workshops and Store A focused day, since this is the end of the month and the May workshops are starting up on Monday, so lots of things to do. Also, we are aiming at having the new store open by the 25th, so I’m going to be spending some time there. ATTENTION! Anyone who is signed for a May online workshop should have gotten a letter from me. If you did not, write me. And… ... read more
    Published on Saturday, April 30th, 2016

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Thoughts and Inspirations - RTP Blog Posts

Ideas and Inspiration
3

So, there I was: writing the first scene of the first draft of Hapax. I was bright-eyed and innocent, the scene zipping along beneath my fingers. My monks were preparing to hold vigil to see if the Apocalypse was nigh (spoiler: it was). I had a plot outline, I had character notes, I had worldbuilding…

And then, I realized.

I had forgotten to figure out the monks’ hierarchy. I had no idea who or what their leader was.

Oops.

Don’t Panic

Ideas and Inspiration
3

I want to take a moment to address an issue many writers, including myself, are plagued with:

So many ideas, so little time.

I’m struck with a least two new story ideas a week. Sometimes I can satisfy my fickle muses with a short story or two. Other times, the ideas demand novel-length exorcising. I can’t control it, and I’m somewhat scared of what might happen if I tried. As a result of said caution, I’ve devised a means to placate the voices in my head while maintaining my sanity. I…

Story Development
0

“Descriptive” is a common compliment for books. Perhaps too common – one of the usual downfalls of newer writers is the tendency to over-describe every aspect of their stories, from the characters to the setting to the teapot in the cupboard.

Characters should be described. So should setting. That teapot, though, probably doesn’t require the readers’ attention, and you should not be wasting your authorly breath on it. Too much description, even of vital elements of the story, bogs down your narration and leads the reader to start skipping entire sections of your story – assuming, that is, they don’t simply quit reading.

How much is too much? At what point do you go from “very descriptive” to “bloated and boring?” With writing, there are never any rules – only guidelines. The following are a couple of mine.

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Workshop Episode 100 (Guest Host: Cat Rambo)

Cat Rambo – author of splendid tales of wonder and delight, including “Beasts of Tabat (The Tabat Quartet Book 1)“ – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to once more ply her wizarding ways in the brainstorming of a tale about a wizard who savors the pleasures of status and wealth but has the deep misfortune of being targeted by a demon.

The tale is offered up by Guest Writer Kelby Barker, a truly engaging yarn of dueling wizards and ruthless bounty hunters unwittingly caught in a war between demon-kind. Returning as co-host chair, Denise Lhamon joins in the froth and together the four off us wander the fabulous labyrinth of Kelby’s tale, ultimately emerging victorious and laden with Literary Gold. We kept some for you… all you have to do to claim it is click that “PLAY” button!

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20 (more) Minutes with Cat Rambo

Cat Rambo is one of THE most dedicated storytellers I’ve ever met. Her commitment to her craft and the enthusiastic determination with which she pursues it is inspiring (and exhausting). This will be her third tour as Guest Host on the RTP and – while I’ve already done the “stalkerish” intro for her – just catching everyone up on her achievements between episodes becomes a whole new epic saga. She is truly a champion storyteller.

In the co-host chair is Denise Lhamon, former Guest Writer, artist, and storyteller who joins us from the ranks of Onder Librum’s Sessorium of Creatives. The three us use Cat’s upcoming class roster as the sylybus for our conversation, exploring the retelling of myths and fairy tales, the use of literary techniques in genre fiction, how to start a novel, and more. Writerly goodness is pretty much guaranteed, gang… just hit that “PLAY” button!

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One Question: What Makes a Good Fight Scene?

From intimate duels to the death to epic battles, the fight scene is a cornerstone of speculative fiction. For the writer, however, crafting a good fight scene can be an epic struggle to find…

0

Workshop Episode 100 (Guest Host: Cat Rambo)

Cat Rambo – author of splendid tales of wonder and delight, including “Beasts of Tabat (The Tabat Quartet Book 1)“ – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to once more ply her wizarding ways in the brainstorming of a tale about a wizard who savors the pleasures of status and wealth but has the deep misfortune of being targeted by a demon.

The tale is offered up by Guest Writer Kelby Barker, a truly engaging yarn of dueling wizards and ruthless bounty hunters unwittingly caught in a war between demon-kind. Returning as co-host chair, Denise Lhamon joins in the froth and together the four off us wander the fabulous labyrinth of Kelby’s tale, ultimately emerging victorious and laden with Literary Gold. We kept some for you… all you have to do to claim it is click that “PLAY” button!