Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Gareth Powell: How to keep being creative in a crisis
    As writers or artists, we’re often preoccupied with our work. But sometimes, real world events intrude and leave us feeling unable to summon the energy to be creative, or leave us questioning the value of art in the face of tragedy. When there’s a distaster or an unfolding crisis on the news, it can sometimes … Continue reading How to keep being creative in a crisis ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
  • Mercedes Yardley: Easy 90 Minute Bread Recipe
    Easy? YES. Can anyone make it? YES. Do you have to be a baker in order to whip it up? Absolutely not. This is a quick, easy recipe that makes gorgeous round bread with only a mixer and a cookie sheet, cast iron pan, or pizza stone. I originally came across this recipe here, and they have beautiful pictures of the bread. Please stop by and see what you think! I usually do ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
  • Cavan Scott: Doctor Who: Ninth Doctor #9 – The TARDIS lands in Brazil, plus Doctormania gets collected
    Ladies, gentlemen and those of a gender-neutral preference, I am pleased to preview Doctor Who: Ninth Doctor #9, which hits shelves today! This was a bit of a special one. For our last three-parter, Official Secrets, I sent the TARDIS spinning back to the Bristol of my youth. It only seemed fair that Nine, Jack, Rose and Tara – our brand new companion – headed to artist Adriana Melo’s home town of São Paulo next. I mentioned ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
  • Alasdair Stuart: Hugo Awards Eligibility: Best Fan Writer
    Earlier this month, nominations opened for this year’s Hugo Awards. Full details of who can nominate and how you can be one of them is at that link. If you can nominate, please do before the March 17 deadline. 2016 was a fantastic year for genre fiction and I personally had the exact sort of gloriously busy non-fiction year I crave. I’m really proud of the work I produced in 2016, and am eligible in ... read more
    Published on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
  • Mercedes Yardley: Please Help Us Find Missing Las Vegas Man!
    Chico Ebat from Northern Las Vegas went missing this morning. He’s a dear man with dementia and is presumably searching for his sweet wife who is in the hospital today.  Chico has a small build, glasses, and a gray beard. He is most likely wearing his black cowboy hat and a dark brown suede jacket. The police have been notified, so if you see him, please contact the police. He was last seen around ... read more
    Published on Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • Jake Bible: New Audiobooks- Z-Burbia 7, Roak, & Kaiju Winter!
    Howdy! Guess what? New audiobooks! Now, all of you on the mailing list already got this announcement. You’re the cool kids. But, for the rest of you (you’re cool too), feast your eyes on the beauty of these audiobooks now available from Audible and iTunes (Amazon as well, but really, that’s Audible)! Get to the […] ... read more
    Published on Thursday, January 19th, 2017
  • Grammar Girl: Capital vs. Capitol
    If you’re going to the capital, you spell capital with an A and don’t capitalize the word.  Capital Capital refers a city that is the seat of government for its region or is important in some way, but it has many other meanings too. A capital is an uppercase letter. Capital is wealth or money, especially in the context of business: Squiggly needs capital to get his hot chocolate stand up and running. Capital can ... read more
    Published on Thursday, January 19th, 2017
  • The Writer: Nonfiction scene-building secrets from the pros
    What do most readers think the crucial difference is between creative nonfiction and regular nonfiction? The former is exciting and the latter is…yawn…regular. Like the stuff they make you read on an SAT exam. Creative nonfiction, however, is terrifically interesting. It crackles on the page thanks to having many of the best elements of fiction writing built right into it. Author Lee Gutkind claims that the form is like jazz, meaning it has “a ... read more
    Published on Thursday, January 19th, 2017
  • The Write Practice: 4 Strategies to Make it Through the Dreaded Middle of Your Story
    The dreaded middle. We’ve all encountered it, all suffered through painful prose so we can just get to the end. There are those rare few times when we’re able to get through an entire story without much stumbling, but inevitably, just about every stumble comes from the middle. But why is it so hard? And how can we get past it? 4 Strategies for Mastering the Middle Why is the middle the most loathed ... read more
    Published on Thursday, January 19th, 2017
  • NaNoWriMo Every Month: Questions 218: Present Tense Narration (Writing Instruction Series 12)
    Subscribe Here! In this twelfth installment in our miniseries on teaching students how to write, Rob asks: “What’s the deal with the current fad of present tense narration? When is this a useful technique?” Books mentioned:Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow This episode sponsored by Bundle Rabbit ... read more
    Published on Thursday, January 19th, 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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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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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 110 (Guest Host: Ada Palmer)

Ada Palmer – scholar, composer, and author of the astonishing and richly-acclaimed “Too Like the Lightning” (and so much more) – returns to the Big Chair at the3 Roundtable to lend her spectacular brainstorming skills to a tale of political oppression, intrigue, and Lovecraftian deities.

The tale is offered up by creageous Guest Writer, Timothy Neideritter (one of the the rare individuals who have been Knighted by the Roundtable and earned the right to return to the Writer’s Chair), a tale of a young woman who enters the subtle and savage realm of royal politics only to have to deal with the arrival of not one but TWO otherworldly powers upon her planet.

The fabulous Melanie Meadors returns as co-host and together we dive into brainstorming froth, immersing ourselves in the politics, religion and magic of Tim’s world, working through the nuances of character arcs and the motivations of Cthonic deities, ultimately unearthing a veritable hoard of Literary Gold. There’s plenty to go around… click that PLAY button and claim yours!