Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Mercedes Yardley: WIP Wednesday: Long Overdue
    I haven’t done a WIP Wednesday for a while! It’s about time. I love hearing about other creatives and the projects they’re working on. I’ll share mine, and then will you share whatever art/music/writing/creative project you’re in the midst of? Right now I’m in the midst of a short story titled “Ravenous Stars, Carnivorous Moon.” It’s a haunting thing about a woman who tries to feed herself to the stars. I’ve been going through a… ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
  • Gail Carriger: Steampunk World’s Fair & Southwest Airlines Kobo
    Before we get on to the doings at the fair, Gentle Reader, here's some fun news...Kobo is offering Southwest Airlines customers complimentary access of eBooks while in flight. It's a pretty fun pilot program (pun intended) and I'm delighted to tell you that my YA publisher, Little Brown, has put forth Etiquette & Espionage. It will be available on board participating Southwest flights during the months of June and July.For once, I'm not taking any… ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
  • Brad Beaulieu: Twelve Kings ARC Contest!
    I recently received a box of ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) for Twelve Kings in Sharakhai from the fine folks at my publisher, DAW Books, and their distributor, Penguin Random House. In case you missed it, here was the unboxening of those lovely, numinous pieces of advanced reading fiction. There is (as of this posting) a Goodreads giveaway for 25 ARCs, but I promised I’d also be holding an ARC contest of my own, so… ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
  • Cavan Scott: Scott Handcock and I take recording Big Finish Productions VERY seriously! Fact!
    (Photo: Jon Pountney) ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
  • Lou Anders: Frostborn and Nightborn News and Reviews
    The paperback edition of Frostborncame out this week, and right on cue, the internet has lit up with a flurry of reviews for both it and the forthcoming sequel Nightborn.I've also been a guest blogger on a few websites. Here are some of the week's highlights.Lawrence M. Schoen was kind enough to let me talk about some of my most memorable meals on his series Eating Authors.I talk about my commitment to realistic monster ecologies on… ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • Writers.com: Henry Miller: The Best Eye-Opener…
    Published on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
  • Jennifer Blanchard: Story Coaching Case Study: Stephanie Raffelock
    Stephanie Raffelock came to me twice–once in January and then again in February. The first time she came to me, we talked about her complex story idea and working together to bring it to life. She wasn’t quite ready to get support yet. But after a few weeks of trying to do it herself, she […] ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
  • The Write Practice: How to Finally Finish Your Writings
    by Kellie McGannAll writers seem to have this problem. We all have those half-finished projects: books, blogs, wooden chairs. On my computer I actually have a folder of “Unfinished Blog Posts.” If you’re like me, finishing projects is always a struggle, especially books, which are the hardest projects to finish. Recently I’ve buckled down to finish several major writing projects, including my first book, and I’ve learned a few things about how to finish your writing along… ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
  • WritersDigest: Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 307
    A couple things before the prompt today: First, the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition has a June 5 deadline that’s coming up fast (learn more here). Second, Poetic Asides all stars Jane Shlensky and Nancy Posey have teamed up to put together a face-to-face event in Hickory, North Carolina, for all interested Poetic Asides poets (learn more about that here). For today’s prompt, write a learning poem. The poem could be about things you learn… ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
  • Dean Wesley Smith: Stages of a Fiction Writer: Chapter Six
    (Almost done with this short book. One more chapter after this. Patreon supporters, you will get the full book sent to you when it is all done. Please note: This is advanced reader copy. This has not been proofed. That will be taken care of when I turn in the final book to WMG Publishing.) STAGES OF A FICTION WRITER Chapter Six Stage four in writing is hard, at best, to describe because for most… ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

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CREATIVITY

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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.

Ideas and Inspiration
3

I’m currently 63,000 words into my second novel attempt. Sounds fairly impressive, but I’ve been at 63,000 words for the last six weeks. Sure, I’ve written two short stories, a couple blog entries, participated in recording ten-or-so Roundtable episodes(my favorite distraction besides my wife), taught, graded papers and lesson-planned for about 60 hours a week, etc., etc., and on, and on. A lot like you! But is all of that really keeping me from writing my book? Yes. Because I let it.

We all are experts at wasting time, and the successful few have learned to at least minimize the bastard! We’ve all heard and read countless papers and pamphlets and programs on how to beat down the maniacal villain known as Master Procrastination. That is not what this post is going to do.

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Workshop Episode 79 (Guest Host: Shanna Germain)

We are delighted to welcome Shanna Germain – Lead Editor for Monte Cook Games (including Numenra and the NOW KICKSTARTING “No Thank You, Evil”), the NSFW but still fabulous “Geek Love: An…

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20 Minutes with Shanna Germain

Shanna Germain is an astonishing creator. In addition to her work as Lead Editor for Monte Cook Games (including Numenra and the NOW KICKSTARTING “No Thank You, Evil”), she has…

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“One Question: Developing an Idea” at Balticon 48

You get an idea for a story. Now what? What happens between the inspiration and perspiration? How do you prepare and develop a story idea so it’s ready to be written?

That’s what I asked seven gifted and articulate writers at this year’s Balticon 48 (sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society). The answers from Paul E. Cooley, Jared Axelrod, Maria V. Snyder, Starla Huchton, Pip Ballantine, Nobilis Reed, and Myke Cole are as diverse and inspired as the people we asked.

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Workshop Episode 79 (Guest Host: Shanna Germain)

We are delighted to welcome Shanna Germain – Lead Editor for Monte Cook Games (including Numenra and the NOW KICKSTARTING “No Thank You, Evil”), the NSFW but still fabulous “Geek Love: An…