Literary Alchemy... one podcast at a time

GUEST HOST UPDATES

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  • Dan Wells: See I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER on the big screen!
    The time has come! I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, based on my book and starring Christopher Lloyd, Max Records, and Laura Fraser, comes out this weekend. This weekend! I can’t even tell you how long I’ve been waiting for this day. Actually I totally can: it was June of 2009 when I first got the email from Billy O’Brien, the amazing director, telling me he loved the story and asking if the rights were ... read more
    Published on Monday, August 22nd, 2016
  • Mercedes Yardley: You Guys! I’m Back!
    “What?” You ask. “Were you even gone?” Well, I was. Due to computery things and my lack of knowledge about computery things, I was literally two days away from losing my blog and domain name, etc etc etc. But I figured it out and A Broken Laptop is still mine. I can’t tell you how relieved I am. (Hint: I’m pretty relieved.) I realize that my blog brings me joy. It’s a place where ... read more
    Published on Monday, August 22nd, 2016
  • Mary Robinette Kowal: My MidAmeriCon II badge was just suspended. That is awesome. This is why.
    I am so proud of MidAmeriCon II and their safety staff. Why? Because I violated the Code of Conduct and they held me accountable. It would have been really easy for them to give me a pass because I’m “Someone” and to say, “Oh, it doesn’t really matter” for me. Even though it was stressful for them, they followed their procedures and it was a great, very respectful process. In fact, that’s why I’m writing ... read more
    Published on Sunday, August 21st, 2016
  • Alasdair Stuart: WorldCon Photo Journal: Day 5
    Kansas City loves it’s cars. And it’s bikes. And pickups. And everything with wheels.. This pulled up just outside BRGR, the best place we’ve eaten this week and also the weirdest. As well as a parade of automotive pride that included an actual low rider, countless trucks and a lot of bikes, it was a half block down from an arena where the Backstreet Boys were playing. A mile in the other direction the ... read more
    Published on Sunday, August 21st, 2016
  • Alethea Kontis: Alethea’s 2016 DragonCon Schedule
    Here it is, folks! Technically, it’s still tentative, so be sure to double check these on the app and in the program booklet. Convention Dates are Fri(9/2/16), Sat(9/3/16), Sun(9/4/16), and Mon(9/5/16). I will be arriving on Wednesday with Bianca Roman-Stumpff so that I can help her set up in Pop Art Alley on Thursday. Bianca has kindly offered to squirrel some of my books away behind her table–so if I’m not on a panel and ... read more
    Published on Saturday, August 20th, 2016

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FOR THE WRITER…

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  • The Write Practice: Active vs. Passive Voice: The Complete Guide
    by Liz BuremanYou’ve probably heard people decry the use of the passive voice. “Avoid it at all costs!” they say. That’s a little misleading; the passive voice isn’t always bad. However, you must understand what it is and learn to recognize it so you can choose how to use it effectively. What Is Active Voice? A sentence in the active voice is structured traditionally: subject + verb + object. Beth stubbed her toe. John will ... read more
    Published on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
  • WritersDigest: How to Write a Science Fiction Novel Series: 6 Tips
    Want to write a science fiction novel? My day (night, weekend) job is teaching composition at a university to students who are mostly engineers and bio sci majors, business students, and the occasional computer scientist. Everyone likes lists and rules. Order imposed on the chaos, a sense of control. Writing scares them because they think it’s this messy thing that just happens because of divine inspiration and miracles. (Truth: it is messy. Also truth: there ... read more
    Published on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
  • The Renegade Writer: Should You Charge Your Client for Payment Processing Fees?
    When I started out as a full-time freelance writer in 1997, and for many years thereafter, I received the vast majority of my payments by check. Every day I’d run out to the mailbox, wondering if it held bills, junk mail…or a wondrous wad of cash from a magazine. If it was a check (or TWO checks!), I’d mail it to my bank, and a few days later I’d have the cash. Simple. These days, ... read more
    Published on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
  • Dean Wesley Smith: Day Five: Novel Challenge
    Day Five: Novel Challenge As I have been saying, this challenge this time is nothing at all like the first time I did this. And as I expected, I missed my word count today. Just not enough time in the day and energy in the old body to make it. But still two more days to go on this, so we’ll see how it ends up. Worst thing that could happen is ... read more
    Published on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
  • Chuck Wendig: Writing: Longevity, Patience, And Shittin’ Pants (A Storify)
    So, the other day on Twitter I summoned up a tweetstorm about writing and publishing and the advice I gave to a power company worker who came here the other day to change out a meter. BEHOLD THE LURID TALE. (Original link to Storify here, if you need it.) [View the story “Longevity, Patience, And Shittin’ Pants” on Storify] ... read more
    Published on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

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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
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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
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…

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Workshop Episode 104 (Guest Host: Fran Wilde)

Fran Wild – author of Updraft, The Jewel and Her Lapidary and more – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to apply her fabulous storytelling mojo towards brainstorming a tale of our our world where ghosts are real and everyone knows it.

The tale is offered up by Guest Writer Jen Dawson, a poignant story a “ghost seer” contending with the challenges of her gift, her sexuality, and the perceptions of a culture that continues to struggle with (or against) both. Marie Bilodeau returns as Co-Host and together we work our way through the rich tapestry of characters and story woven by Jen’s story, tucking in some threads of Literary Gold along the way.

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20 Minutes with Fran Wilde

In a very short amount of time, Fran Wilde has done many marvelous things – including crafting marvelous stories like Updraft and The Jewel and her Lapidary. But she has also explored the realms of technology, explored art and a broad spectrum of diverse disciplines, crafts, and exotic pursuits. These explorations give her a unique perspective, both on the world and the writerly arts.

Joined by the fabulous Marie Bilodeau as co-host, we wax rhapsodic with Fran, exploring the value of critiquing both in a writing group and as writer, the way stories start, the merits of curiosity and more. It’s a conversation fraught with writerly goodness… click the “PLAY” button and let the fabulousity commence! (and join us on July 19 for Fran’s equally awesome Workshop Episode!)

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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 104 (Guest Host: Fran Wilde)

Fran Wild – author of Updraft, The Jewel and Her Lapidary and more – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to apply her fabulous storytelling mojo towards brainstorming a tale of our our world where ghosts are real and everyone knows it.

The tale is offered up by Guest Writer Jen Dawson, a poignant story a “ghost seer” contending with the challenges of her gift, her sexuality, and the perceptions of a culture that continues to struggle with (or against) both. Marie Bilodeau returns as Co-Host and together we work our way through the rich tapestry of characters and story woven by Jen’s story, tucking in some threads of Literary Gold along the way.