Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Tobias Buckell: Dear new writers: you do have the power to speak
    Several times a year I encounter moments where a writer, or a new writer, or a writer yet to be, is reluctant to write an essay or talk about a position they are passionate about. This is doubly so if it’s political. They believe that they’ll be blackballed from publishing or their career will falter. Since it’s a political election season, I’d like to note: The ‘industry’ of writers/critics/readers/etc are not nearly monolithic enough to ... read more
    Published on Tuesday, June 28th, 2016
  • David D. Levine: My Westercon schedule
    Westercon 69 will be held this coming weekend in Portland, Oregon. I am the Fan Guest of Honor and will be appearing on a ton of programming. Please note that my reading will be very early in the con — on Friday at 3pm — so if you can attend I would really appreciate it! Fri Jul 1 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm in Ross Island: GOH Fan Guest David D Levine Reading. Fri Jul ... read more
    Published on Tuesday, June 28th, 2016
  • Mur Lafferty: Just Announced: Netflix acquires rights to THE SHAMBLING GUIDES
    Illustrated by Jamie McKelvie I’ve talked a lot in podcasts about the frustration of having to sit on news, and boy howdy, I’ve been sitting on this one a long time. But it was announced yesterday: Netflix has purchased the option for The Shambling Guide to NYC and Ghost Train to New Orleans! The Tracking Board had the exclusive and Tor.com did a great post about it this morning. A few FAQs: Does this ... read more
    Published on Tuesday, June 28th, 2016
  • Michael Sullivan: Age of Myth: Scene Stealing Characters Stage a Plot Coup
    Book outlines are, in effect, plans. What do we all know about plans, whether they be of the battle preparations or the best laid sort? For the stories of plots, they usually don't survive and often go into the delete bin. Such was the case with Age of Myth. I had my outline and my characters. I was building my story nicely, but trouble was brewing in the most unlikely of places—the tertiary character district. I ... read more
    Published on Tuesday, June 28th, 2016
  • Mary Robinette Kowal: My Favorite Bit: E. Catherine Tobler talks about THE KRAKEN SEA
    E. Catherine Tobler is joining us today with her novel The Kraken Sea. Here’s the publisher’s description: Fifteen-year-old Jackson is different from the other children at the foundling hospital. Scales sometimes cover his arms. Tentacles coil just below his skin. Despite this Jackson tries to fit in with the other children. He tries to be normal for Sister Jerome Grace and the priests. But when a woman asks for a boy like him, all that changes. ... read more
    Published on Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

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FOR THE WRITER…

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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 103 (Guest Host: Clint Gaige)

Clint Gaige – storyteller, film maker, and general badass – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend his mojo with visual narratives to a story… no wait, excuse me… a SCRIPT brainstorm of a horror film exploring what happens when our children (ALL our children) turn on us.

The script concept is offered up by creageous Guest Writer Matteo Marsiello, a tale of what happens in a suburban Midwest town when the children go on a murder spree targeting the adults. Marie Bilodeau returns to take the co-host chair and together we enter the dark horrifying world of Matteo’s vision, exploring character arcs and thematic nuances, jumping and shadows and unearthing a treasure trove of Literary Gold. It’s yours for the taking if you DARE… to push that “PLAY” button!

1

20 Minutes with Clint Gaige

Clint Gaige tells stories with light and sound. He’s a film maker with dozens of titles gracing screens (silver and digital) around the world and a life time of experience in the world of media storytelling. His “Shotgun Mythos” series has been picked up by several television stations, his latest endeavor – “A Clean Exit” (from Growth Media Productions) – is making the festival circuit now, and he’s far from finished. His insights into the process of storytelling for film transcend media, opening new perspectives for artists of all disciplines.

Joined by the remarkable Marie Bilodeau – author of the Nigh series, as well as “Hellmaw: Eye of Glass”, and more – we indulge in a exceptional 20(ish) Minutes of writerly discourse with Clint, exploring the considerations for storytelling in film, the value of doing it and the bane of “perfection”, the keys to successful collaboration, and more. Writerly inspiration awaits you, dear friends… just click that “PLAY” button!

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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 103 (Guest Host: Clint Gaige)

Clint Gaige – storyteller, film maker, and general badass – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend his mojo with visual narratives to a story… no wait, excuse me… a SCRIPT brainstorm of a horror film exploring what happens when our children (ALL our children) turn on us.

The script concept is offered up by creageous Guest Writer Matteo Marsiello, a tale of what happens in a suburban Midwest town when the children go on a murder spree targeting the adults. Marie Bilodeau returns to take the co-host chair and together we enter the dark horrifying world of Matteo’s vision, exploring character arcs and thematic nuances, jumping and shadows and unearthing a treasure trove of Literary Gold. It’s yours for the taking if you DARE… to push that “PLAY” button!