Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • K.C. Wayland - Protected: The Types of Audio Dramas
    This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: Password: The post Protected: The Types of Audio Dramas appeared first on Kc Wayland. ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 26th, 2017
  • Cherie Priest - Leaving Rosebury
    There’s a long way to explain, and a short way to explain. I’ll start with the latter: We have sold our house, and are making preparations to move back to Seattle. To flesh the matter out a bit further, let us just say that it’s been a while coming. The reasons are many and varied – but largely due to my husband’s job, which has been flying him back and forth to/from the West ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 26th, 2017
  • Cecilia Tan - Coming Out as a Slytherin
    Ars Technica published an article by me on Pride Day (yesterday, traditionally the last Sunday in June) entitled “Coming Out as a Slytherin.” In the article I detail how there have been a series of “closets” whose doors I have had to kick down, from coming out as bisexual in the 1980s, to coming out as a pro who also wrote fanfic in the 2000s, to, eventually, realizing I had to come out ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 26th, 2017
  • Cat Rambo - Nattering Social Justice Cook: Celebrating Rainbow Hair
    One place recent culture wars have been being played out has been the virtual space occupied by Twitter and its adjacent social media. Examining a particular hashtag or recurring phrase often provides insight into what the topic of the moment is, as well as what tropes and memes are being deployed. A common adjective in many of the more conservative, alt-right, and other theater-of-outrage rants I’ve seen in the past couple of years is ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 26th, 2017
  • Maurice Broaddus - POC take over FSI! and Straight Outta Tombstone
    Nisi Shawl guest edited an issue of Fantastic Stories of the Imagination with a People of Color take over FSI special issue (cover illustration by Victo Ngai). It includes: Fiction What Futures by Su-Yee Lin Shadow Animals by Stephen Graham Jones The Sacrifice of the Hanged Monkey by Minsoo Kang Darkout by E. Lily Yu The Executioner by Jennifer Marie Brissett I Understand by Jermaine McGill Walking Around Money by Paul Miles Serving Fish by ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 26th, 2017
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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • WritersDigest - WD Poetic Form Challenge: Curtal Sonnet
    I should be able to share some recent challenge winners soon, but there’s no reason we can’t jump into the next WD Poetic Form Challenge–this time for the curtal sonnet! Find the rules for writing curtal sonnets here. Just when you think it’s safe to assume all sonnets have 14 lines along comes the curtal sonnet. So start writing them and sharing here on the blog (this specific post) for a chance to be published ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 26th, 2017
  • WritersDigest - 5 New Ways for Writers to Keep a Journal
    As a senior editor at Penguin and a life coach for creatives, I meet a lot of writers. Most who cross my path either keep a journal or feel guilty about not keeping one. It’s okay not to keep a journal. Like cilantro or Gwyneth Paltrow, writing in a journal simply isn’t for everyone—and there’s nothing wrong with that. This guest post is by Kendra Levin. Levin helps writers and other creative artists meet their ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 26th, 2017
  • The Write Practice - 140 Character Stories: Tell a Story in a Tweet
    Let’s write stories today. 140 character stories. For Twitter. 140 Character Stories I’ve been thinking about this, and I don’t know why we can’t do it. If you don’t already know, all Twitter posts must consist of 140 characters or less. And a “story” is defined as “an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment” or “an account of past events in someone’s life or in the evolution of something.” ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 26th, 2017
  • WritersDigest - Agent Spotlight: Shaheen Qureshi of Capital Talent Agencyghu
    Reminder: This agent spotlight features Shaheen Qureshi of Capital Talent Agencyghu. Remember, newer agents are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is likely building his or her client list. About Shaheen: I have worked in publishing and editing for the past five years. As the former managing editor of Tadween Publishing, a Middle East academic press, I facilitated the publication of a political cartoon book and a collection of interviews with Iraqi activists. ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 26th, 2017
  • The Writer - The DIY MFA
    Gabriela Pereira Writers in search of a Master of Fine Arts program have innumerable opportunities to consider. There are programs of all types available: some general, some geared toward writers interested in a specific discipline; some require a full-time commitment, while others can be completed at home. But what about those writers who can’t – or don’t want to – manage all of the hurdles attached to committing to an MFA? Enter the DIY MFA, ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 26th, 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!