Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Cecilia Tan - 2016 Winners of the NLA Writing Awards
    Did you all see that the winners of the NLA Writing Awards were released? These annual awards celebrate the best in BDSM-positive writing and publishing, in both fiction and nonfiction categories. As a member of the awards committee I’ve been involved with these awards for several years and this year had a bumper crop of books! To quote from the press release that came from NLA: International: National Leather Association: International, a leading organization for ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 28th, 2017
  • Gail Carriger - Gail Steampunking Around Anchorage
    There were some fun moments of steampunk and general Gail appeal around the town of Anchorage. I thought I’d share a few with you, Gentle Reader. I found myself at the Red Chair Cafe, for example… And I also tracked down the local tea house… Yes, I did contemplate just staying in that tea house forever. {Gail’s monthly read along for April is Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman.} PROJECT ROUND UP Secret Project ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 28th, 2017
  • Pip Ballantine - What I Learned from Bad Movies
    This week I have been watching a lot of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 with my husband Tee Morris. He was very surprised I had never actually watched this show before, but I explained to him it never made it to New Zealand. We didn’t get everything after all. Now after a massively successful Kickstarter campaign, it is available on Netflix, as we decided to dive in. If you’ve never watched MST3K, it is a cute show ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 28th, 2017
  • Paul Elard Cooley - Derelict: Marines – Episode 19
    Download Now Derelict: Marines is available in ebook and trade paperback from Amazon. Purchase a copy, leave a review, and help support the free podcast. The Derelict: Marines enhanced edition audiobook is now available from my store. Support me onRead more › ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 28th, 2017
  • Maurice Broaddus - The Power of Art: Community Development Through Writing
    One of the things I’m passionate about is community development. In trying to figure out how to do this using writing, I became a part of an arts collective called The Learning Tree. We’re a group of organized neighbors that specializes in Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). We identify and invest in the individuals, organizations, and the community to see and celebrate the abundance in our neighborhood. Simply put, our neighbors are our business ... read more
    Published on Thursday, April 27th, 2017
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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • The Writer - Should I be worried if my book is published as a paperback original?
      When you dream of a book deal, the image of a stack of flashy, study hardcovers often comes to mind. But in the age of e-books and high hardcover price points, many imprints have popped up to publish only in paperback. A format that started out with a stigma has slowly taken over bookshelves everywhere. We asked authors with successful paperback originals to discuss the format’s misconceptions and whether writers should be wary. ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 28th, 2017
  • The Writer - How to become a science writer
      On her last day in New Caledonia, Jennifer Ackerman drove to the top of Mount Koghi in search of the elusive New Caledonian crow. At the top of the mountain, met by a brilliantly green rainforest and the towering Koghi Kauri trees, she plunged into the forest in search of the birds, only to encounter failing light and massive spider webs. She never found the crows but heard their raspy calls in the ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 28th, 2017
  • Fresh Essays Blog - 10 Awesome Tricks to Become a Super Productive Student
    Full of enthusiasm and good intentions but have no idea how to get everything done? Even if you are one of those students who attends every class and spends hours in the library each day, this is all useless if you are unproductive. Productivity is the most important skill you’ll acquire as a student. Being able to balance your academic, social and personal lives is what will help you perform better both at university and ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 28th, 2017
  • The Writers Alley - Giveaways, Steals, and Inspiration for Your Friday
    Happy Friday, friends! Did you have a good week? Or one of those where you couldn't be more grateful that it's Friday? Here are some writerly finds to help you end strong:On Tuesday, Julia posted a gem about letting God use your trials in your writing. The truth and wisdom are strong in this one!If you haven't entered the giveaway for Cara Putman's Beyond Justice audiobook, enter now! She shared a great post about Making ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 28th, 2017
  • NaNoWriMo Every Month - Questions 266: Show and Tell
    Subscribe Here! Caine asks:  When do you “tell” and when do you “show”? This episode sponsored by BundleRabbit ... read more
    Published on Friday, April 28th, 2017
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Thoughts and Inspirations - RTP Blog Posts

Ideas and Inspiration
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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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Workshop Episode 111 (Guest Host: Myke Cole)

Myke Cole – author of The Shadow Ops Series (including “Gemini Cell”, “Javelin Rain” and the forthcoming “Seige Line” – returns to the Big Chair in the RTP virtual studios to lend his brainstorming-fu to a tale of future warfare, powered armor, and artificial intelligence.

The tale is offered up by creageous Guest Writer Jonathan Zerrusen, a tale of two heroes, the daughter of a nation honored to wear the first powered armor into battle, and a newly transcended (and illegal) AI on opposite sides of a global conflict. The brainstorm froth is frothy indeed as we explore the nuances of cyber characters, deepening the conflict within and around the protagonists, and generally dig up a mountain of Literary Gold (as you do). Hit that PLAY button and get yours!

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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.…

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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 111 (Guest Host: Myke Cole)

Myke Cole – author of The Shadow Ops Series (including “Gemini Cell”, “Javelin Rain” and the forthcoming “Seige Line” – returns to the Big Chair in the RTP virtual studios to lend his brainstorming-fu to a tale of future warfare, powered armor, and artificial intelligence.

The tale is offered up by creageous Guest Writer Jonathan Zerrusen, a tale of two heroes, the daughter of a nation honored to wear the first powered armor into battle, and a newly transcended (and illegal) AI on opposite sides of a global conflict. The brainstorm froth is frothy indeed as we explore the nuances of cyber characters, deepening the conflict within and around the protagonists, and generally dig up a mountain of Literary Gold (as you do). Hit that PLAY button and get yours!