Monday, May 20, 2013

Conference Recap, Twitter Style

In the past month I've attended two writer's conferences. I learned so much and I wanted to share that knowledge with everyone else. Many of you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to recap my bits of advice shared. I'm going to put all of my tweets below and if you have any questions, or you just want to discuss one of the points, leave me a comment!

1. When picking an agent, make sure they're hungry to sell your work.

2. The theme for this conference is writing from the ashes. Adversity strengthens us.

3. Make sure the readers know why we should care about the character from page one. Hardships aren't enough.

4. If it doesn't tell you something about the character, story or tone, then don't use it.

5. Make your words simple and sensory.

6. Creating back story before we write gives our characters more consistency.

7. Often people choose to avoid pain rather than seek pleasure.

8. Internal and external conflict should be happening at the same time. i.e. Luke losing his hand as he finds out Darth Vader is his father.

9. Food writing is a new trend. Food can be a great hook.


1. Edit your dialogue, subtext holds more weight
 
2. Keep a journal when you travel, you never know when you might use that experience

3. Why do others reject us? It’s because they’re struggling too, consciously or unconsciously, against their own resistance.

4. Adding mystery is not making things unclear. That's just confusion

5. Let your characters dictate to you. If you force it, it comes across as false.

6. More than ever people are looking for books with a champion.


What's the best conference you've ever been to?

25 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Avoiding pain over seeking pleasure - very true!

Robin said...

I've never been to Pikes Peak Summit. LDStorymakers was amazing-I met so many awesome writers and on-line friends (including you!). It was super fun. Besides Storymakers I've been to Writing and Illustrating for Young Writers-I'd also recommend that one.

I posted Storymakers tidbits today as well. My favorite came from Anne Perry, wasn't she inspiring? And that voice, I could listen to it for hours. "We can write good letters, but a book is of more value. It is a letter to mankind."

L.G. Smith said...

I love that last one about champions!

And thanks for sharing your conference wisdom. Good stuff. :)

Julie Luek said...

Sounds like you reaped some great tidbits-- thanks for sharing. One of these lifetimes, I will make it to the Pikes Peak-- it's in my backyard.

Carrie-Anne said...

It's so true that we need to let our characters dictate the story to us. So many times, a story has gone in a direction I never planned, simply because of what the characters wanted or needed.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Great tips, thanks! Next year I so want to go to Storymakers. :)

Emily R. King said...

Fab list, Jen. It was so great seeing you!

David P. King said...

I think the next time I recap a conference, I'll do it this way. Awesome, and I so wanted to go to Pikes Peak. Alas, money is dumb. :)

ilima said...

I think I remember you tweeting (someone did) about the food hook thing. What a great idea!

Morgan said...

Ohhhh... what a great list, Jenny! I was only there Saturday, so I missed a lot. Thanks for the recap! And I could tell Storymakers was a great event, but the SCBWI conferences are the BEST. Seriously love them.

(And I'm still freaking out how GORGEOUS your profile pic is! LOVE!!!)

Demetria Foster Gray said...

Good points, Jennie. I especially like #4 from the first conference, and #2 from the second. I'll be travelling soon so I'll definitely use the travel journal tip.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

No one wants a bored agent. Thanks for sharing this list with us and ugh! everyone's been to a cool conference but me. *Whines*

S.P. Bowers said...

Great advice, thanks for sharing.

Livia Peterson said...

Awesome tips, Jennie! I must attend the LDStorymakers conference one of these days to learn more about writing and meet my friends in person! :)

Rena said...

These are really great tips. I especially like your last one, that people are look for champions. I noticed that the last time I was hunting for a book to read just for fun.

Heather Holden said...

Wow, that bit about avoiding pain instead of seeking pleasure is so intriguing, and true, too! Had never thought about this in exactly that way before...

Dana said...

Great tips! I love the one about keeping a travel journal.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I had a great time with the blitz! ☺

John Wiswell said...

These are some nice tips, J.A.. I particularly agree with #3 - hardship and adversity are never enough. There ought to be some angle, some personality trait or lack thereof that draws me into whatever happens, especially in this market, where ideas are pillaged so regularly that a premise is unlikely to be unique.

Tammy Theriault said...

wow! truly amazing tips!!

michelle said...

I've NEVER been to a conference. You guys are ALWAYS going to a conference very other month or so....
Lucky Duckies...!
Great tips here Jennie!
"Keep a journal when you travel"... good one!

Writer In Transit

michelle said...

I've NEVER been to a conference. You guys are ALWAYS going to a conference very other month or so....
Lucky Duckies...!
Great tips here Jennie!
"Keep a journal when you travel"... good one!

Writer In Transit

michelle said...

I've NEVER been to a conference. You guys are ALWAYS going to a conference very other month or so....
Lucky Duckies...!
Great tips here Jennie!
"Keep a journal when you travel"... good one!

Writer In Transit

michelle said...

I've NEVER been to a conference. You guys are ALWAYS going to a conference very other month or so....
Lucky Duckies...!
Great tips here Jennie!
"Keep a journal when you travel"... good one!

Writer In Transit

Precy Larkins said...

It was so fun to meet you in person! :)

Anonymous said...

Great advice! Thanks for sharing.