Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Gail Carriger: Using WordPress Plugin Redirection For Evergreen Universal Links
    This is one of those I searched the web and couldn’t find the answer. Then figured out how to do it, and feel like I must pay it forward to save other authors the pain and agony of trying to figure it out. It may not apply to you, Gentle Reader, for which I appologize. This post only applies to she who has a website on the WordPress platform. Other options, why you might wish/not wish to ... read more
    Published on Friday, December 9th, 2016
  • Paul Elard Cooley: The Black:Outbreak–29
    Download Now Only 1 more episode left. Have questions about The Black series? Send an email to paul@shadowpublications.com, post on my Facebook author page or tweet me using the hashtag “theblack”. Support me on Patreon and earn exclusive rewards. Dinosaurs beingRead more › ... read more
    Published on Friday, December 9th, 2016
  • Seanan McGuire: On the eighth day of Hogswatch, your Seanan gave away…
    ...a copy of When Will You Rise!Welcome to the eighth of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 13th. Each giveaway will have different rules and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, I am avoiding the post office as much as possible until that other winter ... read more
    Published on Friday, December 9th, 2016
  • Mercedes Yardley: Easy Friends and Family Gifts!
    We’ve let Christmas overwhelm us. It isn’t about spirituality or kindness or even really family anymore. It’s about gifts, about running ourselves ragged, about filling our days with so much joy and merriment that it somehow turns into pressure. I’ve been trying to avoid that feeling this year, and simplifying has been a great help. I saw this on The Merry Little Christmas Project,  and liked the idea so much that I tried it myself. Instead of stressing ... read more
    Published on Friday, December 9th, 2016
  • Seanan McGuire: Hogswatch winner day #1!
    The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a copy of Every Heart A Doorway is...roseclaw!Please contact me via my website contact form by 1PM PST on Saturday, December 10th, to claim your prize. Please include your name, LJ handle, and mailing address in the message, so that I will know it is you.Twelve more days to go! ... read more
    Published on Thursday, December 8th, 2016

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • The Writer: What to do when you meet an editor
      Editors can sometimes remain hidden behind the fortress walls of big publishing companies, with no names or contact information to be cyber-sleuthed. In most cases, that is simply to cut down on the number of unsolicited submissions that accumulate in the infamous slush piles on an editorial assistant’s desk. But here’s a secret: Editors actually want to talk to writers. And writing conferences are one of the top places where that happens. “I ... read more
    Published on Friday, December 9th, 2016
  • The Writer: Writing for blogs versus writing online articles
      Blogs and online features are standard elements in the digital presence of most news sources and magazines. That’s good news for today’s freelancers, many of whom routinely reap work from such outlets. Online readers rely on both of these digital siblings for daily news and entertainment. But for the writer, the terms aren’t interchangeable, and understanding what’s expected with each is key to landing more assignments.   Writing style When Mary Quigley originally ... read more
    Published on Friday, December 9th, 2016
  • The Writer: GIVEAWAY: Win Shorts and Briefs by Gregory Fletcher
      Any playwrights here in the audience? This week’s giveaway is for you.   Gregory Fletcher’s cheekily named Shorts and Briefs: A Collection of Short Plays and Brief Principles of Playwriting aims to provide both examples and instructions for playwrights. The “shorts” are a collection of nine short plays by Fletcher, while the “briefs” component are concise explorations of playwriting principles.   “Greg’s book makes an interesting case about how the short play can be a ... read more
    Published on Friday, December 9th, 2016
  • The Writers Alley: As the Ink Flows! Welcome!!
    It is my absolute pleasure to welcome a group of ladies with hearts for ministry.In August 2016, I had the lovely opportunity to meet (and worship with) Melony Teague at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat in Nashville, TN and through that connection I was introduced to the authors of the devotional, As the Ink Flows - a book that keeps a writer's focus on the soul of our stories. Jesus.As an Alleycat, I've enjoyed the ... read more
    Published on Friday, December 9th, 2016
  • Dean Wesley Smith: 12/8/16 Daily
    NOVEL CHANGE… Got my schedule back on track after yesterday. Slept until 2 p.m., then met the movers at the office at 3 p.m. to have them move the 180 boxes and a ton of shelves up into the loft area of the office. Then I got some walking in with the guys, talking about writing, then went back and worked in my new office until 8 pm trying to put things back together. Going ... read more
    Published on Friday, December 9th, 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 109 (Guest Host: Jeanne Cavelos)

Jeanne Cavelos – scientist, author, and founder of the exceptional Odyssey Writers Workshops – returns to the Big Chair at the RTP (for the third time!) to lend her considerable and extensive workshopping mojo to a tale of betrayal and revenge in the classic noir tradition.

The tale is offered up by creageous Guest Writer Zane Sexton, a story of a jaded grifter planning to double-cross a high-society lady who may be more than he bargained for. Joined once again by Marie Bilodeau as Co-Host, we savor the froth of a fabulous brainstorm, wending our way through back alleys and shady dives in our endless search for Literary Gold. We hit pay dirt and there’s plenty to share, so come get yours… click that “PLAY” button!

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20 (more) Minutes with Jeanne Cavelos

Jeanne Cavelos – scientist, author, and founder of the astonishing Odyssey Writers Workshops – has dedicated herself to exploring the terra incognita of the imagination through storytelling. Her stories and…

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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…

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Workshop Episode 109 (Guest Host: Jeanne Cavelos)

Jeanne Cavelos – scientist, author, and founder of the exceptional Odyssey Writers Workshops – returns to the Big Chair at the RTP (for the third time!) to lend her considerable and extensive workshopping mojo to a tale of betrayal and revenge in the classic noir tradition.

The tale is offered up by creageous Guest Writer Zane Sexton, a story of a jaded grifter planning to double-cross a high-society lady who may be more than he bargained for. Joined once again by Marie Bilodeau as Co-Host, we savor the froth of a fabulous brainstorm, wending our way through back alleys and shady dives in our endless search for Literary Gold. We hit pay dirt and there’s plenty to share, so come get yours… click that “PLAY” button!