Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Pip Ballantine: In Love with the Imaginary
    So right now, if you are on any kind of social media you will see the outrage about Captain America. If you have somehow managed to avoid it, SPOILER ALERT… …. …. ….. In the latest comic, Captain America is revealed to have been a Hydra agent this whole time. Yes, creators just made Cap a Nazi. This has brought about an outpouring outrage from many, and a great deal of sighing and eye rolling… ... read more
    Published on Saturday, May 28th, 2016
  • Mercedes Yardley: Gutted: A Review
    Eden Royce - The Dark Geisha I was excited to read this upcoming release from Crystal Lake Publishing, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories. I was also fortunate to get an advanced reading copy of the anthology. Crystal Lake is making quite a name for itself in the horror and dark fiction categories since their opening in 2012. This year Crystal Lake walked away with two Bram Stoker Awards at Stoker Con in Las Vegas, one… ... read more
    Published on Saturday, May 28th, 2016
  • Gail Carriger: Imprudence Tour Dates & Locations
    My darling Gentle Reader, here is my...Gail Carriger Imprudence Tour Houston, TX Tuesday, July 19 6:30 PM Murder by the Book LAUNCH PARTY!Austin, TX Wednesday, July 20 7 PM BookPeopleDenver, CO Thursday, July 21 7 PM Tattered Cover (Aspen Grove)San Diego, CA Friday, July 22: 7 PM Mysterious Galaxy,  (plus SDCC appearance earlier that afternoon, time TBD)Petaluma, CA Saturday, July 23: 2 PM Copperfield’s   On Day Break for GailBeaverton, OR (Portland) Monday, July 25: 7… ... read more
    Published on Friday, May 27th, 2016
  • Adam Christopher: The Doctor Who comics of Alan Moore, and DISHONORED book announcement
    Couple o’ things. Over at Tor.com, I take a look at the Doctor Who comics of Alan Moore. Moore, better known as the writer of Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and other groundbreaking titles, actually started writing back-up strips for Doctor Who Weekly magazine back in the early 1980s. Reviewing the stories was pretty fun, and you can check it out over here. In other news, Bethesda announced a comic and novel tie-in series for the console/PC… ... read more
    Published on Friday, May 27th, 2016
  • Rachel Swirsky: Friday read! “The Traditional” by Maria Dahvana Headley
    I’m a big fan of science fiction that takes vivid, strange images into the future. I think, actually, I always have — and if you look at a lot of classic SF, that’s what it’s doing. That’s obvious when reading someone like Stanislaw Lem, but I think it’s still true about folks who we consider more traditional now. It’s just that some of the weird images they used have been carried on in the conversation… ... read more
    Published on Friday, May 27th, 2016

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • Loft Literary: rain + hot beverage + book = the perfect day
    rain + hot beverage + book = the perfect day ... read more
    Published on Saturday, May 28th, 2016
  • Loft Literary: “Above all, I do not romanticize the act of writing.”
    “Above all, I do not romanticize the act of writing.” - José Saramago, The Art of Fiction No. 155 (via theparisreview) ... read more
    Published on Saturday, May 28th, 2016
  • Dean Wesley Smith: Kris and Her Awards
    Kris and Her Awards Over the years, Kris has won many, many awards and been nominated so many times, I doubt she knows how many. She is the only person ever to win a Hugo Award for both her fiction and her editing work. And one night at the Edgar Award ceremony for mystery, she was nominated for best novel under one name and for best short story under another. But this month Kris won two major… ... read more
    Published on Saturday, May 28th, 2016
  • WriterUnboxed: How to Write Like the Buddha
    Author’s note: I’m currently rehabbing from rotator cuff surgery (forty years of ultimate frisbee will, in fact, take its toll) and my time at the keyboard is constrained by my doctor’s – and my shoulder’s – orders. We could pause to dwell on the remarkable fact that the word “constrain” means both to require and repress, but that would be a waste of the few keystrokes I’m presently allowed. We could also note that “presently”… ... read more
    Published on Saturday, May 28th, 2016
  • NaNoWriMo Every Month: Questions 97: Where Do You Get Your Ideas?
    Subscribe Here! JR asks: “I would LOVE to hear where you come up with your story ideas?” Books discussed:Ideas, Inc. by J. Daniel Sawyer ... read more
    Published on Saturday, May 28th, 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 101 (Guest Host: Tim Waggoner)

Tim Waggoner – author of “The Winter Box”, “Darkness Wakes” and more – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend his considerable workshopping mojo to a take of demonic possession, betrayl, and manipulation.

The tale is offered up by Guest Writer Kaitlin Nichols (who writes as Kaitlin R. Branch), the story of a woman and a demon trapped in a cycle or torment for centuries and a desperate bid for freedom gone horribly wrong. Samantha Murphy returns as my co-host, and together the four of us rock and epic brainstorm, blazing a trail down numerous character arcs and narrative paths, ALL of them strewn liberally with Literary Gold. There’s plenty with which to fill your pockets… just click that “PLAY” button and join us!

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20 Minutes with Tim Waggoner

Tim Waggoner’s writing spans genres, demographics, and even licensed properties. His experience both as a writer and as a professor of popular literature and creative writing give him a deep understanding of the craft… and yet his vision of that craft and it’s execution is elegantly simple.

Joined by Samantha Murphy as my co-host, we engage in 20-ish minutes of writerly discourse exploring tactics for developing your craft, writing short and long fiction, character development, and more. It’s a facinating exploration of the writerly arts (as always), and it’s all yours… 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…

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Workshop Episode 101 (Guest Host: Tim Waggoner)

Tim Waggoner – author of “The Winter Box”, “Darkness Wakes” and more – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend his considerable workshopping mojo to a take of demonic possession, betrayl, and manipulation.

The tale is offered up by Guest Writer Kaitlin Nichols (who writes as Kaitlin R. Branch), the story of a woman and a demon trapped in a cycle or torment for centuries and a desperate bid for freedom gone horribly wrong. Samantha Murphy returns as my co-host, and together the four of us rock and epic brainstorm, blazing a trail down numerous character arcs and narrative paths, ALL of them strewn liberally with Literary Gold. There’s plenty with which to fill your pockets… just click that “PLAY” button and join us!