Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Seanan McGuire: In which Seanan is nominated for a Nebula Award, and is overcome with gratitude.
    Last Thursday, while in a car on the way to Half-Price Books, my phone rang. It was an unfamiliar number, and so I answered warily, all too aware of the various scams people are currently conducting. "Hello," said a woman. "I'm looking for Seanan McGuire?""May I ask who's calling?"She identified herself as from SFWA (the Science Fiction Writers of America). I identified myself as Seanan. Lots of identification happened, all while I was going "no, ... read more
    Published on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
  • Michael Sullivan: 15 Fantasy Book Giveaways at Goodreads
    Right now there are more than 300 giveaways on Goodreads in the Fantasy category. That's a lot of giveaways!! Since I have one of them running right now, I thought it would be a good idea to narrow the field a bit and pick 15 that I think my readers my interested in. So here they are: To make it easy to sign up for them I'm including links to each giveaway along with a ... read more
    Published on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
  • Kameron Hurley: The Geek Feminist Revolution Arrives in Spain!
    Yesterday we finalized a deal with Lee Runas, the SFF imprint of Spanish publisher Alianza, for Spanish translation rights to The Geek Feminist Revolution. This morning I woke up to happy, exclamatory tweets in my Twitter mentions, all in Spanish, so I must conclude that the news is already out! Lee Runas is the same Spanish publisher that picked up The Stars Are Legion translation, which will be out this fall. I was very pleased ... read more
    Published on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
  • Mary Robinette Kowal: My Favorite Bit: Maurice Broaddus talks about THE VOICES OF MARTYRS
    Maurice Broaddus is joining us today with his collection The Voices of Martyrs. Here’s the publisher’s description: We are a collection of voices, the assembled history of the many voices that have spoken into our lives and shaped us. Voices of the past, voices of the present, and voices of the future. There is an African proverb, “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi,” which translates as “It is not wrong to go back for ... read more
    Published on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
  • Cavan Scott: Writing Deep Space Nine for Star Trek Waypoint
    IDW published their May solicits yesterday, including the news that I’ve written a 10-page Deep Space Nine story for Star Trek Waypoint #5. Working with artist Joshua Hood, it’s a bit of a dream come true. I’ve loved Trek ever since I saw Wrath of Khan as a kid. The movies were my entry point into the Star Trek universe, followed by The Next Generation. By the time Deep Space Nine aired, I was a card-carrying Trekker, complete with communicator pin on my jacket ... read more
    Published on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • WritersDigest: Austin International Poetry Festival: Poetry Spotlight
    This week’s poetry spotlight shines on a super fun week of poetry that happens in the heart of Texas each year: the Austin International Poetry Festival, or AIPF. As always, I appreciate the poetry spotlight ideas people send 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, February 23rd, 2017
  • Chuck Wendig: The Many-Headed Hydra Of Republican Hypocrisy
    I am astonished these days by the bold-faced ballsiness of the Republican hypocrisy. My jaw is perpetually on the floor. It’s not even attached anymore. It’s just a jawbone resting at my feet, as my tongue flops and flips around my rent-open face in moist gesticulations that fail to properly explain the sheer what-the-fuckery I’m forever feeling. It’s probably always been there, this hypocrisy. Maybe it was better hidden, once upon a time. And certainly no ... read more
    Published on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
  • The Write Practice: How to Write a Fight Scene Readers Will Love
    Today’s guest post is by Stephanie O’Brien. Stephanie is a lifelong fiction author who loves experimenting with different genres, subverting common clichés and tropes, and picking stories apart to see what makes them work. To see more writing tips, as well as Stephanie’s novels, comics and music videos, visit her website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @Stepha_OBrien. If your story involves one or more fight scenes, you have a great opportunity. You ... read more
    Published on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
  • WritersDigest: How to Overcome Rejection by 200 Literary Agents (& Still Land a Book Deal)
    Rejection is difficult, frustrating, and discouraging. It can be every negative adjective you might find in the thesaurus. But it can also help build persistence, even in the face of rejection by some two hundred literary agents. This was the kind of test I faced after completing my first adult novel. I never intended to write a book like this. I love writing for young readers and find it very fulfilling—not just because of the ... read more
    Published on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
  • WriterUnboxed: What Fiction Trends Say About Us
    http://www.business2community.com/The book market is shifting again as it has quite often in the last five years. Let’s face it. It’s desperately trying to keep up with our fast-paced world. How we discover books, how we purchase them, and how we read them have changed completely. All of that change is difficult for an industry that’s been around a couple hundred years, and it’s arguably even more difficult for those of us who create books in ... read more
    Published on Thursday, February 23rd, 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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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!