Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Alasdair Stuart: News: Doctor Who: Arrowdown shortlisted for an Ennie
      I do a lot of work for the Doctor Who RPG. In fact I’ve just finished a chunk of stuff for the upcoming Dinosaurs & Spaceships book which allowed me to put something very odd under the Natural History Museum and give the Silurians their Richard III. I love this job. Not just because my inner 12-year old is on a permanent sugar high with it but because it’s so much fun. I… ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 29th, 2015
  • John Mierau: Trial By Fire, Part 1
    A young woman growing up in an isolated religious order faces a terrible ordeal–and finds comfort in a dangerous place. For more information visit ServingWorlds.com. Written by Matthew Iden, narrated by Diane Severson! Read the episode free on Patreon or become a patron for advance access & patron-only fiction, Read it all right now in […] ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 29th, 2015
  • Bryan Thomas Schmidt: Self-Editing For Writers (Online Class) July 25, 2015
    For two years, my editing partner and I have been attending Cons and doing our panel Editing 101 for Writers to great success. We continue to do so, but I wanted to offer a different version of that panel asRead more › ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 29th, 2015
  • Gail Carriger: Book Review ~ Uprooted by Naomi Novik
    Uprooted was this month's book pick. It is Novik's foray into alternate fairy stories. Known for her Temeraire novels, this is a Grimm (and grim) atmospheric piece with an immersive narrative and a bewitching sense of place. My Thoughts:This book kept me pretty darn riveted despite considerable lack of sleep on tour, which is saying a lot. However, it does get gloomy and while there are bright splashes of humor, that certainly isn't its strongest… ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 29th, 2015
  • Lou Anders: When the Dog Bites, When the Bee Stings…
    Rich Howard pens role playing games material and articles about same. He is a regular contribute to Tribality.com, and today he posts, "10 of My Favorite Things from June!" Along with pointers to aquatic adventure aids for RPGs and some wonderful artwork, he includes these very kind words:"You’ve heard me wax poetic about Lou Anders on the DM’s Block and RPG Academy, and you might have even heard me talk about him in person. It’s… ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 29th, 2015

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • Jennifer Blanchard: StoryTV With Jennifer B., Episode 3: How To Connect the Plot Points in Your Story
    A common complaint I hear from writers is this: I know what my plot points are, but I have no idea how to connect them or what to put in between. There are three things you need to know to know in order to connect your plot points and create the scenes for your story: […] ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 29th, 2015
  • Writers Write: E.L. James’ Disastrous Twitter Q and A
    E.L. James agreed to do a Q and A on Twitter and it was absolutely brutal. People who hate Fifty Shades had a field day attacking the bestselling author. Read more on writerswrite.com ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 29th, 2015
  • Chuck Wendig: In Which I Learn To Talk Less And Listen More
    I am a creature of enormous privilege. Like, it’s pretty big? I get that. I’m not just a white dude, I’m a white dude with a pretty big social media footprint. And sometimes I think I can use my privilege and my social media to do Good Things™ and instead I’m like Wreck-It-Ralph who just breaks the building and shits up the cake instead and then nobody can have the cake or the building. Or… ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 29th, 2015
  • WritersDigest: Focus on the Writing Life: Feeding Your Creativity
    Every writer goes through a creative dry spell. And sometimes that point of struggle can leave an author straining her brain for the right idea, plot line, or word. Everyone will give you differing advice on how to handle Writer’s Block, or to enhance your creativity, but few will tell you to take a deep breath and do nothing. Except for this piece of advice. The following is an excerpt from a short section in one… ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 29th, 2015
  • Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Free Fiction Monday: Star
    On the night Anna’s boyfriend tried to kill her, Anna’s badly injured cat Star disappeared. Now, half a continent away, Anna’s neighbor tells her about a white cat with unusual markings haunting the neighborhood. Do cats have ghosts? Or has Star herself somehow made her own incredible journey across the country to be with the […] ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 29th, 2015

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CREATIVITY

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  • Hero X: Taking Out The Trash: The Ocean Cleanup
    Humanity has a trash problem. Not only do we produce too much of it, far too much ends up in our oceans where it accumulates into "trash islands". Every year, these massive islands of plastics, debris and chemicals - such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) - play havoc will wildlife, fishing, tourism, and cost billions to cleanup. Worse yet is the fact that these patches consist only of the garbage that we can… ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 29th, 2015
  • TED Video: Dame Ellen MacArthur: The surprising thing I learned sailing solo around the world
    What do you learn when you sail around the world on your own? When solo sailor Ellen MacArthur circled the globe – carrying everything she needed with her – she came back with new insight into the way the world works, as a place of interlocking cycles and finite resources, where the decisions we make today affect what's left for tomorrow. She proposes a bold new way to see the world's economic systems: not as… ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 29th, 2015
  • Innovation Management: Taking the Guesswork Out of Innovation
    Innovation has become a bit of a business buzzword. Every CEO and CIO worth their salt wants to be seen to be on the forefront, bringing new products and services to a market. However, it doesn’t always go to plan, and rushing in to things head first without the proper due diligence can land a company in hot water. ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 29th, 2015
  • Brainpickings: Pathways to Bliss: Joseph Campbell on Why Perfectionism Kills Love and How to Save Your Relationship
    “Perfection is inhuman… What evokes our love … is the imperfection of the human being.” “Where the myth fails, human love begins,” Anaïs Nin wrote in her diary in 1941. “Then we love a human being, not our dream, but a human being with flaws.” Indeed, just like perfectionism kills creativity, it also kills love — the more we mythologize and idealize the person we love, the more disillusioned and disheartened we grow as we… ... read more
    Published on Monday, June 29th, 2015
  • Mindtools: Managing in Turkey – Seizing Opportunity in a Growing Economy
    Discover strategies for building strong working relationships with team members in Turkey. ... read more
    Published on Sunday, June 28th, 2015

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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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20 Minutes with Andrew Weston

Andrew Weston is a great many things – scholar of astronomy and law, combat and law enforcement veteran – and he weaves all these in his work as a storyteller. His most…

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20 Minutes with Andrew Weston

Andrew Weston is a great many things – scholar of astronomy and law, combat and law enforcement veteran – and he weaves all these in his work as a storyteller. His most…

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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 81 (Guest Host: Seth Skorkowsky)

Seth Skorkowsky, author of “Damoren” and “Hounacier” (of the Valducan series from Ragnarok Publications), and The Tales of Black Raven collections (including “Mountain of Daggers”) – returns to the Big Chair…