Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Seanan McGuire: On the third day of Hogswatch, your Seanan gave away…
    ...signed copies of two recent anthologies I'm in: Were and Alien Artifacts! Win them for yourself, for a friend, or for a local library!Welcome to the third 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 ... read more
    Published on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
  • Michael Sullivan: Things worth believing in
    I'm not sure how many people saw the movie Second Hand Lions. It wasn't a blockbuster by any means but it's a favorite around the Sullivan household.  Today, I was speaking to someone in email about my books and why I write optimistic classic fantasy rather than the grimdark reads that are so popular right now.  The person writing the email said,"Most people I see reviewing on the internet are always bashing books which deal ... read more
    Published on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
  • Seanan McGuire: On the second day of Hogswatch, your Seanan gave away…
    ...a starter kit for my two longest-running series: signed copies of Rosemary and Rue and Discount Armageddon! Win them for yourself, for a friend, or for a local library!Welcome to the second 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 ... read more
    Published on Friday, December 2nd, 2016
  • Mercedes Yardley: Easy Cheery Cinnamon Voodoo Ornaments! A Tutorial.
    A Broken Laptop Christmas spirit is lacking this year. So I’ve been trying to do simple, stress-free things with the children to add joy and spice. Yesterday we made cinnamon salt dough ornaments, and it was just what the doctor prescribed! I found the original recipe here. This recipe has four ingredients and doesn’t require cooking. Easy, charming, and the cinnamon smelled so good! We did hearts, stars, bunnies, and voodoo dolls, of ... read more
    Published on Friday, December 2nd, 2016
  • Abigail Hilton: Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going
    I've spoken to multiple fans recently who are confused about what I've released or where to keep track of it. I've encountered enthusiastic fans who are, nevertheless, surprised to learn that I've done anything since Cowry Catchers. People who follow me on various social media platforms miss this or that announcement because I either didn't get around to posting it there or the post just flew by in their media stream.This is frustrating. It's frustrating ... read more
    Published on Friday, December 2nd, 2016

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • NaNoWriMo Every Month: Questions 180: Descriptions and Sensory Impairments
    Subscribe Here! JR asks: “How can I enrich my descriptions even though I’m colorblind?” Books mentioned:by Victoria Finlay ... read more
    Published on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
  • Grammar Girl: 5 Gift Books for Children Who Love Language
    Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis The creator of Home turns a droll eye to the natural world, with gorgeous art and a playful invented language.Du iz tak? What is that? As a tiny shoot unfurls, two damselflies peer at it in wonder. When the plant grows taller and sprouts leaves, some young beetles arrive to gander, and soon—with the help of a pill bug named Icky—they wrangle a ladder and build a tree fort. But this ... read more
    Published on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
  • WritersDigest: Weekly Round-up: Author Insights and Challenge Winners
    Every week our editors publish somewhere between 10 and 15 blog posts—but it can be hard to keep up amidst the busyness of everyday life. To make sure you never miss another post, we’ve created a new weekly round-up series. Each Saturday, find the previous week’s posts all in one place.  Author Insights Anxiety is a very common issue, especially when it comes to things we’ve lovingly, carefully created. Read 5 Ways to Combat Author ... read more
    Published on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
  • WriterUnboxed: Stories Within Stories (Within Stories)
    Photo by Flickr userTanya HartAllow me to set the scene. A young couple is on a road-trip through New England. It’s just coming on to dusk as they approach a small town in rural Maine. In need of gas and food, they turn on to the main road. Their car engine splutters and dies. It’s only then that they notice the street is empty; not a single person is outside. As they climb out of ... read more
    Published on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
  • Dean Wesley Smith: 12/2/16 Daily
    This is a filler post… Just want to keep the streak running, so just doing a filler post early tonight so I can claim I wrote a post every day for all those days in a row. (grin) The day was normal Friday. Lots of errands, lots of banking, and more on the move until midnight. So nothing to report. I’m going to file this and then maybe go write. If I get words done ... read more
    Published on Saturday, December 3rd, 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
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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.

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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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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 108 (Guest Host: Kelly Robson)

Kelly Robson – author of the Nebula-nominated “Waters of Versailles” (published by Tor.com) and many other marvelous tales – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend her brainstorming-fu to a tale of egyptian intrigue, magic, and tangled destinies across time.

The tale is offered up by creageous Guest Writer Michelea Moore, a story of an archeologist in modern day whose soul is twined with that of an ancient egyptian princess. Joined once again by Marie Bilodeau as Co-Host chair, we delve into Michelea’s tale, in our endless search for Literary Gold. There’s plenty to go around, so hot that “PLAY” button and claim yours!