Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • David D. Levine: Update on Kate 9/29
    Kate is getting a little weaker every day. She can no longer get out of bed and is having even more difficulty communicating than before. She’s sleeping a lot, but her pain is under control. Her sister Sue is here for the duration, her parents are here right now, and my father will be coming this weekend. We have been getting excellent support from hospice, with nurses, drugs, and equipment all just a phone call ... read more
    Published on Thursday, September 29th, 2016
  • Andrea Phillips: ReMade Season 1
    I'm a little late to the announcement here, but I promise you this one's worth the wait. A while back I talked about one of the serials I was working on, Bookburners. I joined that one in the second season as a pitch hitter, so while I love it madly, I wasn't nervous about sending it into the wild. The concept had already had its road test and we knew it could go fast.But I ... read more
    Published on Thursday, September 29th, 2016
  • Mary Robinette Kowal: My Favorite Bit: Kent Davis talks about A RIDDLE IN RUBY: THE CHANGER’S KEY
    Kent Davis is joining us today to talk about his novel A Riddle in Ruby: The Changer’s Key. Here’s the publisher’s description: The Riddle in Ruby trilogy takes readers on a rip-roaring adventure through an alternate version of colonial America, where magic and science meet, and where one young thief carries a secret everyone wants. In this second volume, Ruby Teach has become the enemy’s prisoner. She bargained with her freedom to protect her friends—but her ... read more
    Published on Thursday, September 29th, 2016
  • J. Daniel Sawyer: Blogging Kabrakan/Antithesis, Day 245
    A gorgeous day here on the coast. The last days of summer are making for great agate hunting and super-low tides, so it was a day full of physical work–walking the dog, hiking the hills, checking out the beach, reorganizing parts of the house (you wouldn’t believe how quickly a … Continue reading ... read more
    Published on Thursday, September 29th, 2016
  • Gareth Powell: My BristolCon Schedule
    BristolCon will soon be upon us, and the programme has now been released. I will be taking part in the following programme items: 12:00 Business Of Writing & Publishing – The Snug* I’ll be taking part in a panel and hosting an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session, where attendees can question me on my work, my … Continue reading My BristolCon Schedule ... read more
    Published on Thursday, September 29th, 2016

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • Grammar Girl: Canceled or Cancelled?
    Every winter, you probably see the word canceled a lot—or should it be spelled cancelled? Canceled is more common in American English, and cancelled is more common in British English, but these aren't hard-and-fast rules as you can see in the Google Ngram charts below. Is It Canceled or Cancelled? The AP Stylebook, used by many American news outlets, recommends canceled. British English Ngram Cancelled is clearly the dominant form in British English. American English Ngram Noah ... read more
    Published on Thursday, September 29th, 2016
  • The Write Practice: 4 Ways to Use Experience to Fuel Your Writing
    by Guest BloggerToday’s guest post is by Candace Robinson. A YA author, Candace grew up in Sichuan, China and currently lives in Austin, Texas. When not speaking Mandarin and missing Chinese food, she’s busy exploring new things, volunteering, writing, practicing krav maga, and balancing corporate life at Dell. To read her writing and marketing tips, check out thespinningpen.com or follower her on twitter @candacerobin. Let’s play a quick game of two truths and a lie. Here ... read more
    Published on Thursday, September 29th, 2016
  • The Write Life: Want to Read More? Do it Efficiently With These Three Apps
    I am a writer. I am a writer. I am a writer. Okay, this isn’t Beetlejuice, and 3,000 words aren’t suddenly going to pop out of my head after repeating that mantra three times. What will it do? Remind me — as I’m furiously attempting to read every single blog post that’s new today from every single blogger — that writers gotta write. A case of overconsumption Let me back up. One of my best ... read more
    Published on Thursday, September 29th, 2016
  • WriterUnboxed: Remember Why You Started
    This was a difficult post. I began by writing it; then I deleted it. I tried to write it again, but the words seemed too stark and impersonal. I took a walk and imagined a better way to say the things I needed to say. Then it dawned on me: Just *say* it. How have you made peace with your novel in the drawer, or with a setback in your career?  About Erika RobuckErika Robuck ... read more
    Published on Thursday, September 29th, 2016
  • Dean Wesley Smith: Took a Day Off
    Took a Day Off Nice dinner in the valley, fun movie, a bunch of television when I got home. I did manage to get some e-mail answered, but past that, a day doing real world things. Who knew Kris and I could do that at times? (grin) ——————— October Online Workshops Start In One Week Click the workshop tab above for description and sign-up or go to www.wmgpublishingworkshops.com. Questions about any of the workshops, feel free to ... read more
    Published on Thursday, September 29th, 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 106 (Guest Host: Mur Lafferty)

Mur Lafferty – author of “The Shambling Guide to New York City”, “Ghost Train to New Orleans”, and so much more ( including “Six Wakes” releasing in January 2017) AND the founder/host of the “I Should Be Writing” podcast – returns to the Big Chair at The Roundtable to brainstorm a tale of transdimensional superheroes.

The tale is offered up by creagous Guest Writer Caine Dorr… A tale of catastrophe and heroism when a Reality Sphere ruptures, contaminating the realities around it, and a renegade reality jumper who must empower the endangered denizens with the power to fight back. Joined once again by the indefatigable Alasdair Stuart, we heroically leap into the storytelling dimensions and emerge draped in Literary Gold! And there’s’ plenty to go around… hit that PLAY button and claim yours!

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20 (more) Minutes with Mur Lafferty

“Mighty” Mur Lafferty – author of “The Shambling Guide to New York City”, “Ghost Train to New Orleans”, and so much more (“Six Wakes”) – has earned her street cred. Through her “I Should Be Writing” podcast, listeners have shared every step of her journey from “aspiring” to “published”, including getting her MFA through Stone Coast and being awarded the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her voice – both physical and literary – is known for it’s honesty, candor, and humor.

I have the singular pleasure of being joined by Alasdair Stuart (host of Pseudopod and Lord Commander of the Nor… er… fearless leader of Escape Artists, Inc.) as my co-host and together, we indulge in 20-esque minutes of writerly discourse with Mur, exploring the distinctions of writing in different genres, her dream projects, dissecting the frog of humor, and more. Your writerly tool box is about to get fuller, gang… just click 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 106 (Guest Host: Mur Lafferty)

Mur Lafferty – author of “The Shambling Guide to New York City”, “Ghost Train to New Orleans”, and so much more ( including “Six Wakes” releasing in January 2017) AND the founder/host of the “I Should Be Writing” podcast – returns to the Big Chair at The Roundtable to brainstorm a tale of transdimensional superheroes.

The tale is offered up by creagous Guest Writer Caine Dorr… A tale of catastrophe and heroism when a Reality Sphere ruptures, contaminating the realities around it, and a renegade reality jumper who must empower the endangered denizens with the power to fight back. Joined once again by the indefatigable Alasdair Stuart, we heroically leap into the storytelling dimensions and emerge draped in Literary Gold! And there’s’ plenty to go around… hit that PLAY button and claim yours!