Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

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  • Mur Lafferty: For your Hugo Consideration (Best Dramatic Presentation: Short)
    Tony-winner Daveed Diggs (from Hamilton and the hip hop group clipping.) is a science fiction fan. He’s a fan of Afrofuturism, having studied works by N.K. Jemisin, Octavia Butler, and Samuel R, Delaney. After he left Hamilton he began work on a concept album called Splendor and Misery. Splendor & Misery is an Afrofuturist, dystopian concept album that follows the survivor of a slave uprising on an interstellar cargo ship. As he struggles alone and ... read more
    Published on Friday, February 17th, 2017
  • Brad Beaulieu: The Twelve Kings Crossword Puzzle!
    This is so much fun. My friend, Leticia Lara, was kind enough to put together this fun crossword puzzle. I thought we’d amp up the fun by having a contest to go along with it. The first five respondents to find all twelve kings of Sharakhai and email me the results will received a free ebook of The Winds of Khalakovo. First, go to Leticia’s site (either click here or click the image above) and solve the ... read more
    Published on Friday, February 17th, 2017
  • Michael Sullivan: Theft of Swords on Sale for $2.99
    I find it odd that I often don't hear about a price reduction on my books until after it happens, but I'm always glad when I do find out. It means a lot of people might be giving my books a try who wouldn't normally do so.  Well, now is one of those times.Thanks to the folks at reddit's /r/fantasy sub I found out that Theft of Swords is on sale for $2.99. I did a ... read more
    Published on Thursday, February 16th, 2017
  • Mur Lafferty: Mothership Zeta Issue 6
    I just made live the final issue in the current run of Mothership Zeta, Issue 6. We’re featuring stories about murderous mechanical bears, spirits of mango trees, a sphinx that has relocated to Montreal, and a disgruntled worker’s diary. Our nonfiction includes movie reviews and, of course, the very talented James Patrick Kelly giving us a story doctor report on one of our stories. You won’t find this kind of column in any other magazine. ... read more
    Published on Thursday, February 16th, 2017
  • Mary Robinette Kowal: My Favorite Bit: Patricia Burroughs talks about DEBRIS & DETRITUS: THE LESSER GREEK GODS RUNNING AMOK
    Patricia Burroughs is joining us today with her short story anthology Debris & Detritus: The Lesser Greek Gods Running Amok. Here’s the publisher’s description: “Debris and Detritus, the lesser-known Greek gods…* These words launched over a dozen alternate realities and histories, invaded existing universes, and even inspired a book or two with Debris and Detritus running amok through every world they touch. With nothing else to go on, writers from various genres created deities that might ... read more
    Published on Thursday, February 16th, 2017

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • NaNoWriMo Every Month: Questions 232: Mid-Point Reveals
    Subscribe Here! Caine asks: “In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the mid-point reveal works really well. Is this just a stroke of luck, or a deliberate choice? Can one use the mid-point reveal strategically?” Resources mentioned: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (BluRay Collection) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014C2FX8/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=awpbooks0e-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0014C2FX8&linkId=a2319b8960c69f9ed41fc95a0855ffa7″>DVD Jewel of the Nile ... read more
    Published on Saturday, February 18th, 2017
  • Dean Wesley Smith: I’m Reading…
    …A lot of great short stories.  I’ll be able to talk more about why I am doing this in a couple of weeks. After the Anthology Workshop is finished. But note that I seldom talk about my reading in this blog. It’s just something I do. Kris calls me a stealth reader, so it feels odd to actually be sitting out in public where she can see me with a pile of manuscripts (like the ... read more
    Published on Saturday, February 18th, 2017
  • WritersDigest: Weekly Round-Up: Respect and Romance in Writing
    Every week our editors publish somewhere between 10 and 15 blog posts—but it can be hard to keep up amidst the busyness of everyday life. To make sure you never miss another post, we’ve created a new weekly round-up series. Each Saturday, find the previous week’s posts all in one place. Valentine’s Advice What’s the key to success as a writer of romance? It may be respect. Read 5 Ways to Write Romance With Respect to ... read more
    Published on Saturday, February 18th, 2017
  • WriterUnboxed: How to Sign Books Like a Big-shot Author
    Let’s talk about your authorial autograph. You’re gonna sign a lot of books on your way to the bestseller list. But you can’t just sign your name like you do on personal checks and contracts, unless you want to be picking up a lot of your readers’ bar tabs. (If I catch you doing this, I’ll personally steal your identity just to teach you a lesson. I am strict but fair.) All your favorite authors ... read more
    Published on Saturday, February 18th, 2017
  • Mythcreants: Blue Rose Is a Neat Setting With a Boring System
    Blue Rose is a roleplaying game in the romantic-fantasy genre. What is romantic fantasy you ask? Blue Rose describes it as fantasy with a more optimistic and open-minded outlook than traditional high fantasy or sword and sorcery.1 Relationships are very important in this subgenre, though they need not be romantic in nature. Stories in romantic fantasy often focus on themes of finding one’s place in society or restoring balance to a troubled land. ... read more
    Published on Saturday, February 18th, 2017

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Thoughts and Inspirations - RTP Blog Posts

Ideas and Inspiration
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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.

Story Development
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There is no one better equipped to build rich authentic characters than someone who has actually “lived” (for a few hours) as someone else. In order to appear authentic on stage, an actor has to be able to respond to cues and events AS THEIR CHARACTER. If they don’t, the performance is flat and uninteresting. Writers are striving for that same authenticity… and suffer the same consequences if they fall short of the mark. So how do actors do it?

Story Development
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“We want to believe the best of who we are, and ignore and deny the worst.  The most intriguing moment of a story is when a villain begins to convince…

Ideas and Inspiration
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“There are people who appear to be able to invoke creativity on command.  They sit down and BAM, creative inspirations suddenly leap from their lips like spawning salmon.  Want to…

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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!