Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Alasdair Stuart: Briefing: What You Need To Know About Mission: Impossible
    So, Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation is out at cinemas now. It’s the fifth entry in the running, jumping, shooting, falling, and spying action movie series that’s spanned two decades at this point. Chances are you might have skipped a couple of the four previous ones. If you didn’t skip Mission:Impossible 2, well…I’m really sorry. Me neither. Anyway before Limp Bizkit frantically warm up to slaughter the theme tune yet again let’s talk about what you… ... read more
    Published on Friday, July 31st, 2015
  • J. Daniel Sawyer: Big Antithesis News
    Among the many things going on behind the scenes at AWP as I struggle valiantly to finish Antithesis 3 by the deadline, it has been decided (by those who know better than my inner philosophy geek) that The Antithesis Progression is a series that suffers from title sabotage. Sure, they say, it respects the intelligence ...continue reading Big Antithesis News ... read more
    Published on Thursday, July 30th, 2015
  • J. Daniel Sawyer: Dogonomics
    As will surprise nobody who read either Free Will (soon to be retitled: The Vindicators--see tomorrow's blog post for details), I'm kind of a dog person. And, for the last several weeks, with all the weird shit going on in my world, I've started searching high and low for a dog. (I like cats, too, ...continue reading Dogonomics ... read more
    Published on Thursday, July 30th, 2015
  • Mur Lafferty: Playing For Keeps is part of the Indie Superhero Bundle!
    My 2007 novel about superheroes with crappy powers, Playing For Keeps, is now part of the Indie Superhero Bundle! You can get several indie books (all listed below!) through this bundle, and help a charity like Girls Write Now! Pay what you want, but if your purchase price beats $12, you get Shero by Jack Wallen, The Strike Trilogy by Charlie Wood, Supervillainous by Mike Leon and Playing For Keeps by me! The Legend of… ... read more
    Published on Thursday, July 30th, 2015
  • Dan Wells: GenCon
    As you can see, I haven’t posted any new Poetry Summer stuff; it turns out I’m way too busy with work and travel to memorize any poems. As an example: I’m at GenCon this week! Which is awesome, but makes memorizing and posting poems hard. If you’re at GenCon, you can find me at the following panels: Thursday 12: Atmospheric Writing, room 245 4: Killing Off Characters, room 245 5: Researching For Writing, room 245… ... read more
    Published on Thursday, July 30th, 2015

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • The Write Life: The Smarter Way to Set Freelance Writing Rates: Why You Should Avoid Hourly Work
    The following is an excerpt from Breaking the Time Barrier: How to Unlock Your True Earning Potential, a free ebook offered by our friends at Freshbooks. In the ebook, Freshbooks co-founder, CEO and co-author Mike McDerment makes the case for independent workers earning what you deserve for your hard work. It’s a great resource for freelancers, and it’s also an easy read — no one’s throwing numbers or numbers or worksheets at you. Instead… ... read more
    Published on Friday, July 31st, 2015
  • Helping Writers Become Authors: For All My German Readers! Announcing Outlining Your Novel in German
    Tired of reading boring ol’ English? Would you rather read about outlining your novel in German? Well, then today’s the day! I’m excited to announce the German translation (thanks to Nicola Bock!) of my book Outlining Your Novel, now available on all major digital platforms. If you’re a German speaker who would prefer to read the book in your native language, you can purchase the book from the following sites: German Amazon American Amazon Barnes & Noble… ... read more
    Published on Friday, July 31st, 2015
  • The Writers Alley: Let’s Collaborate! *GIVEAWAY* guest Post with Amy Matayo
    Last November I attended a writing retreat with a few friends—some I knew well, and some I had just met. The lake home where we stayed was sprawling and beautiful and on lots and lots of land, but the bedroom situation required roommates. I had three: one who lived near me in the great state of Arkansas (Jenny B. Jones—a good friend whom I had known long time), and two who lived in Dallas (Nicole… ... read more
    Published on Friday, July 31st, 2015
  • The Write Conversation: Stay Safe Online While Building Your Platform
    by Edie Melson @EdieMelsonAs writers we know the importance of developing an online presence, but is there such a thing as putting too much information out there? How do we know when we've gone beyond platform building into an area that puts us and our families at risk?The result of too much information online can range from the irritating to the dangerous. But it is possible to be smart and still have an online presence that will… ... read more
    Published on Friday, July 31st, 2015
  • Live Write Thrive: Learn When to Be Restrictive
    Do you find the rules regarding comma usage restrictive? Or just confusing? Some comma confusion comes from understanding restrictive and nonrestrictive elements. Often these elements are relative clauses, which sometimes begin with wh words such as which, when, where or who. (The previous sentence is an example of a nonrestrictive clause) The key to choosing whether or not to set off an element with a comma or pair of commas has to do with the… ... read more
    Published on Friday, July 31st, 2015

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CREATIVITY

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Thoughts and Inspirations - RTP Blog Posts

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.

Story Development
12

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
0

“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
0

“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…

0

20 Minutes with Zig Zag Claybourne

Besides being funkalicious, Zig Zag Claybourne is a storyteller whose vision comes from deep within the creative forge. He brings to life tales you’ve never heard before about people you know, characters you recognize in situations you could never imagine. I can’t think of a better definition for “speculative fiction” and Zig is building a whole new wing on that venerable estate.

As fabulous as any conversation with such a gentleman would be, this particular dialog is made even more fabulous by the return of Brion Humphrey, the man who started the RTP with me oh-so-many years ago. With these two visionaries at the Table we launch into a superb 20(ish) minutes of writerly discourse, exploring the creation of conflict, the nuances and practicalities of diversity, authentic character development and more. Buckle up, kids… this is an “E” ticket ride!

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20 Minutes with Zig Zag Claybourne

Besides being funkalicious, Zig Zag Claybourne is a storyteller whose vision comes from deep within the creative forge. He brings to life tales you’ve never heard before about people you know, characters you recognize in situations you could never imagine. I can’t think of a better definition for “speculative fiction” and Zig is building a whole new wing on that venerable estate.

As fabulous as any conversation with such a gentleman would be, this particular dialog is made even more fabulous by the return of Brion Humphrey, the man who started the RTP with me oh-so-many years ago. With these two visionaries at the Table we launch into a superb 20(ish) minutes of writerly discourse, exploring the creation of conflict, the nuances and practicalities of diversity, authentic character development and more. Buckle up, kids… this is an “E” ticket ride!

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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 83 (Guest Host: C. W. LaSart)

C.W. LaSart – weaver of tales of horror featured in collections like “Ad Nauseam” and “Grimm Mistresses” – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend her not inconsiderable talent and…