Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • Dean Wesley Smith: Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 9, Day 17
    Year 2, Month 9, Day 17 of this Writing in Public challenge. Day nine of writing the novel HEAVEN PAINTED AS A FREE MEAL: A Ghost of a Chance Novel THE DAY A work around the WMG office day and a writing day. Fun. Got a lot done up at the WMG offices to get ready for the Fantasy Workshop to start tomorrow. I’m pretty much out of this workshop. It’s all taught by Kris, so… ... read more
    Published on Saturday, April 18th, 2015
  • WriterUnboxed: How to Plan Your Own Book Tour
    Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody. They say book tours don’t sell books. In fact, they can actually cost authors a lot of money. So why bother? Well, you’re making connections with readers and building your brand and a bunch of other… ... read more
    Published on Saturday, April 18th, 2015
  • WritersDigest: 2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 18
    I’m not going to sugar coat it; today’s prompt is a little different. But hey, different can sometimes be good, right? (Crickets.) For today’s prompt, pick 2 vowels and write a poem using words that only contain one or both of those vowels. For instance, write a poem with words that only have a “u” and “o.” Also, the letter “y” is wild–so the words “my” and “gypsy” are freebies. And I’ll allow text-speak (or… ... read more
    Published on Saturday, April 18th, 2015
  • The Write Conversation: The Art of Seeing—A Writer’s Strength
    The art of seeing. At first this concept may seem far removed from the craft of writing. But I think the two are intertwined. The writers who touch me the deepest are those who notice things others do not. How do you strengthen your visual sense and translate what you see into words?"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others." ~Jonathan SwiftShare your thoughts in the comment section below.I also invite you to use… ... read more
    Published on Saturday, April 18th, 2015
  • Mythcreants: What Makes a Good Roleplaying Setting?
    Roleplaying settings run the gamut from post-singularity transhumanism to 1920s pulp to stone age neolithic. Hundreds, possibly thousands, have been published in the last forty years, plus countless home brew versions. But despite their differences, there are several underlying factors that determine how good a setting is to roleplay in. These aren’t cosmetic details, but foundational issues that permeate all genres. When shopping for a setting, or creating your own from scratch, it’s important to… ... read more
    Published on Saturday, April 18th, 2015

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CREATIVITY

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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
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.

Ideas and Inspiration
3

I’m currently 63,000 words into my second novel attempt. Sounds fairly impressive, but I’ve been at 63,000 words for the last six weeks. Sure, I’ve written two short stories, a couple blog entries, participated in recording ten-or-so Roundtable episodes(my favorite distraction besides my wife), taught, graded papers and lesson-planned for about 60 hours a week, etc., etc., and on, and on. A lot like you! But is all of that really keeping me from writing my book? Yes. Because I let it.

We all are experts at wasting time, and the successful few have learned to at least minimize the bastard! We’ve all heard and read countless papers and pamphlets and programs on how to beat down the maniacal villain known as Master Procrastination. That is not what this post is going to do.

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Workshop Episode 76 (Guest Host: Jilly Dreadful)

Returning Guest Host Jilly Dreadful – founder and director of the remarkable  Brainery Workshop – returns to the Big Chair to lend her potent story mojo to a brainstorming session with a story about…

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20 Minutes with Jilly Dreadful

Jilly Dreadful – with a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California, Associate Editor of NonBinary Review and Unbound Octavo, and founder of The Brainery Workshop – has some serious…

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“One Question: Developing an Idea” at Balticon 48

You get an idea for a story. Now what? What happens between the inspiration and perspiration? How do you prepare and develop a story idea so it’s ready to be written?

That’s what I asked seven gifted and articulate writers at this year’s Balticon 48 (sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society). The answers from Paul E. Cooley, Jared Axelrod, Maria V. Snyder, Starla Huchton, Pip Ballantine, Nobilis Reed, and Myke Cole are as diverse and inspired as the people we asked.

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Workshop Episode 76 (Guest Host: Jilly Dreadful)

Returning Guest Host Jilly Dreadful – founder and director of the remarkable  Brainery Workshop – returns to the Big Chair to lend her potent story mojo to a brainstorming session with a story about…