Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Gareth Powell: Announcement: EMBERS OF WAR
    Last week, I exclusively shared the titles for my forthcoming trilogy with subscribers to my monthly email newsletter [If you haven’t already done so, you can sign up here: https://tinyletter.com/GLPowell]. Now, I’m announcing them to the world. Book One: EMBERS OF WAR Book Two: FLEET OF KNIVES (An Embers of War novel) Book Three: LIGHT OF IMPOSSIBLE … Continue reading Announcement: EMBERS OF WAR ... read more
    Published on Thursday, August 25th, 2016
  • Mary Robinette Kowal: Arthur Conan Doyle! Talking about spiritualism.
    The British Sound Archives has a recording of Arthur Conan Doyle talking about how he came to write Sherlock Holmes and his beliefs about Spiritualism. This was recorded in 1930 and is fascinating. He relies on personal experiments to prove that it worked and sees Spiritualism as something that can exist side-by-side with other belief systems. He also talks about the “fraud and folly” that occurs in Spiritualism, too. There are two recordings and its ... read more
    Published on Thursday, August 25th, 2016
  • Mary Robinette Kowal: My Favorite Bit: Bishop O’Connell talks about THE RETURNED
    Bishop O’Connell is joining us today to talk about his novel The Returned. Here’s the publisher’s description: Almost a year after their wedding, and two since their daughter Fiona was rescued from a kidnapping by dark faeries, life has finally settled down for Caitlin and Edward. They maintain a façade of normalcy, but a family being watched over by the fae’s Rogue Court is far from ordinary. Still, it seems the perfect time to go on their ... read more
    Published on Thursday, August 25th, 2016
  • Mercedes Yardley: Miss Murder at the Ferron Library
      I had a speaking engagement at the Ferron library today, and it was so much fun! The smell of books, old friends, and new ones. I enjoyed every second. It was such a friendly, cozy environment! Middlest came up and sat next to me, ready to field any questions. Littlest fell asleep on my lap and I rocked her as I spoke. There’s something so cool about small towns and being able ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
  • J. Daniel Sawyer: Podcasts, Blogs, and Books: Updates
    For those of you following the Nanocast, the Blogging Antithesis Series, and who have been suffering long for the want of the Free Will podcast, a quick update: I had an opportunity to do a YA adventure novel for a big event coming up, but I had a very thin timeline on which to do … Continue reading Podcasts, Blogs, and Books: Updates ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • The Write Conversation: 3 Good Reasons to Disagree with an Editor
    by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2Because I’m an editor as well as an author, you might be surprised to read the title of this post. Aren’t editors always right? Won’t you doom your writing career if you disagree with an editor? Won’t they stick the dreaded difficult label on you if you dare to question one of his or her edits?It’s important to keep in mind that disagreeing is far different than being disagreeable. Your relationship with your ... read more
    Published on Friday, August 26th, 2016
  • WritersDigest: 7 Things I’ve Learned so Far, by Amy Gustine
    This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Amy Gustine, author of YOU SHOULD PITY US INSTEAD) at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their book agent — by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. Amy Gustine is the author of the widely praised story collection ... read more
    Published on Thursday, August 25th, 2016
  • Writers Write: Marilynne Robinson Will Receive the 2016 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award
    Marilynne Robinson will receive the 2016 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award from the Dayton Literary Peace Prize organization. Read more on writerswrite.com ... read more
    Published on Thursday, August 25th, 2016
  • The Renegade Writer: How to Do It All Featured on Dominique Sachse’s YouTube Channel! (+ a lesson on why writers should never give up)
    Excuse me while I freak out… You may remember that I lost $6,500 launching my last book, How to Do It All: The Revolutionary Plan to Create a Full, Meaningful Life—While Only Occasionally Wanting to Poke Your Eyes Out With a Sharpie, by hiring the wrong company to help with marketing. (Details are on this blog if you care to know.) And then I hired Kim from Cake Creative Collective, and she has been superb. One thing our ... read more
    Published on Thursday, August 25th, 2016
  • WritersDigest: 3 Things Your Novel’s Narrator Needs to Accomplish
    In classical terms, rhetoric is the study of persuasion—or more specifically, the study of the means of persuasion. And for a couple thousand years, it was mostly divorced from literature. The history is long and twisted, shaped by institutional politics, religion, and philosophy, but the result has been this: writers, scholars, and students have had to choose between the literary arts and the study of persuasion. For recent English majors, that’s meant either an MFA ... read more
    Published on Thursday, August 25th, 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 104 (Guest Host: Fran Wilde)

Fran Wild – author of Updraft, The Jewel and Her Lapidary and more – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to apply her fabulous storytelling mojo towards brainstorming a tale of our our world where ghosts are real and everyone knows it.

The tale is offered up by Guest Writer Jen Dawson, a poignant story a “ghost seer” contending with the challenges of her gift, her sexuality, and the perceptions of a culture that continues to struggle with (or against) both. Marie Bilodeau returns as Co-Host and together we work our way through the rich tapestry of characters and story woven by Jen’s story, tucking in some threads of Literary Gold along the way.

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20 Minutes with Fran Wilde

In a very short amount of time, Fran Wilde has done many marvelous things – including crafting marvelous stories like Updraft and The Jewel and her Lapidary. But she has also explored the realms of technology, explored art and a broad spectrum of diverse disciplines, crafts, and exotic pursuits. These explorations give her a unique perspective, both on the world and the writerly arts.

Joined by the fabulous Marie Bilodeau as co-host, we wax rhapsodic with Fran, exploring the value of critiquing both in a writing group and as writer, the way stories start, the merits of curiosity and more. It’s a conversation fraught with writerly goodness… click the “PLAY” button and let the fabulousity commence! (and join us on July 19 for Fran’s equally awesome Workshop Episode!)

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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 104 (Guest Host: Fran Wilde)

Fran Wild – author of Updraft, The Jewel and Her Lapidary and more – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to apply her fabulous storytelling mojo towards brainstorming a tale of our our world where ghosts are real and everyone knows it.

The tale is offered up by Guest Writer Jen Dawson, a poignant story a “ghost seer” contending with the challenges of her gift, her sexuality, and the perceptions of a culture that continues to struggle with (or against) both. Marie Bilodeau returns as Co-Host and together we work our way through the rich tapestry of characters and story woven by Jen’s story, tucking in some threads of Literary Gold along the way.