Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Cavan Scott: My first Facebook Live Event
    I’m trying Facebook Live for the first time this Saturday. I’m going to be answering questions about Project: Twilight, the first Doctor Who audio I co-wrote with mark Wright for Big Finish Productions back in 2001! Come along to my Facebook page to hear about how we developed the story, ask me questions, and find out more about my more recent work with Star Wars, Doctor Who, Vikings and more. Just head to my Facebook page ... read more
    Published on Thursday, January 19th, 2017
  • Michael Sullivan: A Tribute to Tolkien
    J.R.R. Tolkien was born January 3, 1892, more than 125 years ago. His contribution to the fantasy genre cannot be overstated, and his influence is far reaching. To mark this occasion, Audible asked a number of fantasy authors to talk a bit about what Tolkien meant to them and their writing, as well as sharing a favorite quote from his books.I'm honored to join Patrick RothfussMercedes LackeyJoe AbercrombieChris Philbrook, and Jodi Taylor in this celebration of Tolkien ... read more
    Published on Thursday, January 19th, 2017
  • Tobias Buckell: Toy Planes, my short story, is now a short comic online!
    My short story Toy Planes is one of my more well received short stories at readings (particularly in the islands). Pablo Defendini has done an amazing job of turning it into a short comic online. It’s fully responsive and serves as a testbed for demonstrating how to do fully responsive comics online that Pablo put together. It’s also a fantastic rendition of Toy Planes in graphic form. Please check it out at www.toy-planes.com. ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
  • Gail Carriger: Gail Is At Confusion in Detroit & A Giveaway
    I’m off to Detroit, Gentle Reader, for ConFusion. I hope to perhaps see you there. If not, I’ll catch on the flip side or on Instagram or what have you. I may drop a FB Live if the hotel internet is good enough, or at least shoot something there I can later post to YouTube. Considering I can barely remember to take outfit photos, this may be ambitious. Meanwhile, I am running a Goodreads Giveaway on Imprudence. ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
  • Cavan Scott: Cover Reveal: Doctor Who – The Lost Flame
    This has just pinged into my inbox, so I thought I’d share it with you. Behold the cover to July’s Doctor Who: The Lost Flame by yours truly and George Mann. As with the others in the series, this is the work of the wonderful Lee Johnson. What do you think? ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • Grammar Girl: Citing Podcasts and Websites
    Over winter break I saw a capital Beyoncé meme that said, “If you liked it, you should have put a citation on it,” which made me laugh and reminded me of this listener question: Hi, Grammar Girl. My name is Laura and I am a teacher of 9th-grade English and a big fan of your podcast. I've used your podcast in my classroom and the Quick and Dirty Tips definitely come in handy. ... read more
    Published on Thursday, January 19th, 2017
  • The Writer: Expert tips for author school visits
      When Kelly Milner Halls arrived for a school visit, the librarian warned her about a quirky third grader who would be at every one of her six sessions that day. He had checked out only one book each week: Milner Halls’ Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures That May or May Not Exist. “He sat with me at lunch and got suddenly quiet,” says the author. “Then he said, ‘I never thought this ... read more
    Published on Thursday, January 19th, 2017
  • WritersDigest: GLA News
    Hi there writer friends! Chuck Sambuchino, long-time editor for Guide to Literary Agents, is no longer with Writer’s Digest. Never fear, though: The great content you’ve come to expect from GLA will continue, and we’re excited to deliver brand-new agent information, query letter and proposal tips and much more. Stay tuned for news on a new GLA editor and agent expert, coming soon. And, as always, thanks for reading the GLA blog. If you’re an ... read more
    Published on Thursday, January 19th, 2017
  • WritersDigest: Poetry Foundation: Poetry Spotlight
    Last week, we took a look at the Paul Laurence Dunbar House in Dayton, Ohio. This week, let’s travel to Chicago to examine the Poetry Foundation. By the way, I appreciate the poetry spotlight ideas people have sent my way. Keep them coming at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with the subject line: Poetry Spotlight Idea. ***** Order the New Poet’s Market! The 2017 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer, includes hundreds of poetry markets, including listings for ... read more
    Published on Thursday, January 19th, 2017
  • The Writer: Spotlight: Eric Weiner and Geography
    Photo: Justin Tsucalas Eric Weiner’s book The Geography of Genius examines the flourishing of creative genius in certain places at certain times in history. Ancient Athens for thinkers, Renaissance Florence for art, Vienna for music and Silicon Valley for techies are all his topics. His previous book, the best-selling The Geography of Bliss, was about the world’s happiest countries. A former National Public Radio foreign correspondent, he’s known for his mordant wit.   Where do your ... read more
    Published on Thursday, January 19th, 2017

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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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Another 20 Minutes with Myke Cole

Myke Cole – author of The Shadow Ops Series (including “Gemini Cell”, “Javelin Rain” and the forthcoming “Seige Line” – has achieved some astonishing things since his last appearance in 2013.…

0

Another 20 Minutes with Myke Cole

Myke Cole – author of The Shadow Ops Series (including “Gemini Cell”, “Javelin Rain” and the forthcoming “Seige Line” – has achieved some astonishing things since his last appearance in 2013.…

0

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…

2

Workshop Episode 110 (Guest Host: Ada Palmer)

Ada Palmer – scholar, composer, and author of the astonishing and richly-acclaimed “Too Like the Lightning” (and so much more) – returns to the Big Chair at the3 Roundtable to lend her spectacular brainstorming skills to a tale of political oppression, intrigue, and Lovecraftian deities.

The tale is offered up by creageous Guest Writer, Timothy Neideritter (one of the the rare individuals who have been Knighted by the Roundtable and earned the right to return to the Writer’s Chair), a tale of a young woman who enters the subtle and savage realm of royal politics only to have to deal with the arrival of not one but TWO otherworldly powers upon her planet.

The fabulous Melanie Meadors returns as co-host and together we dive into brainstorming froth, immersing ourselves in the politics, religion and magic of Tim’s world, working through the nuances of character arcs and the motivations of Cthonic deities, ultimately unearthing a veritable hoard of Literary Gold. There’s plenty to go around… click that PLAY button and claim yours!