Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time


Thoughts and Inspirations - RTP Blog Posts

Ideas and Inspiration
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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
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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
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“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
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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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20 Minutes with Cavan Scott

Cavan Scott has written… well… just about every type of story there is to write. Audio plays for Dr. Who, Blake 7, Iris Wildthyme and more… fiction for Dr. Who, Skylanders, WarHammer 40K, and…

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20 Minutes with Cavan Scott

Cavan Scott has written… well… just about every type of story there is to write. Audio plays for Dr. Who, Blake 7, Iris Wildthyme and more… fiction for Dr. Who, Skylanders, WarHammer 40K, and…

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RTP Dialogues #3: Audiobooks, The New Oral Tradition

Tales around a fire. That’s how it started… the oral tradition, the first way knowledge was stored and transmitted.

Thousands of years later, we’ve rediscovered the power and presence of the human voice in the telling of new tales. Digital technology has made the recording and delivery of high-quality audio narration both convenient and affordable. Now storytellers everywhere are lifting their words from the page (or pixel) and breathing new life into their tales through audio fiction podcasts and audiobooks.

Translating a written tale into an audio presentation has unique rewards and challenges… and that’s the terrain we set out explore on this Roundtable Dialogue episode.

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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.