Saturday, 15 Feb. 2014- Sessions Attended
- Who Influenced Me As a Writer- Holli Anderson, Tom Carr, Jessica Day George, L.E. Modesitt Jr., Peter Orullian, with Eric Swedin moderating
- Wrapping Things Up- Bree Despain, Megan Hutchins, Janci Patterson, Brandon Sanderson, Michael Young, with Chad Morris moderating
- Reading: Janci Patterson
- Verisimilitude: How Illusions, Confidence Games, and Skillful Lying Can Improve Your Fiction- Presentation by Deren Hansen
- Banquet- with Toastmaster Brandon Sanderson
Best points picked up from Who Influenced Me:
- Read outside your genre, and read people who are doing things well
- Learn to be your own best critic
- Know the difference between valid criticism and internet traffic-seekers
- If you don’t like the book in the first five pages, don’t waste your time
Best points from Wrapping Things Up:
- If you can’t end your story well, what’s the point?
- Fulfill your promises
- Make your ending make sense
- It is okay to have something besides a happy ending- as long as there is sense to it
- Ending doesn’t have to be good in the first draft
- Don’t get obsessed with the “perfect” ending
- Always listen to what your beta readers still want to know at the end
- Don’t force it
- Always answer the narrative question
Best Points from Verisimilitude:
- How well does the story create the illusion of reality?
- The art of illusion is directing the reader’s attention
- In late, out early
- Sustain the illusion- don’t jar people out of it with incompetent wordsmithing or botched details
Overall, had a blast, got a lot of good things out of it. Looking forward to LTUE 33 in February of next year. And if I’m lucky, I might even get to present a paper of my own. We’ll see….
Doing the last of my LTUE summaries instead of talking about the craft this week and next week, because they are quite a bit about the writing craft. It’s one of the reasons I love LTUE as much as I do.
Friday, 14 Feb. 2014- Sessions Attended
- Reading: Sandra Tayler
- Query Workshop
- Writing Fantasy: Using Words to Build Worlds- A paper presented by Douglas Whittaker (a good friend of mine, yay!)
- The Rules for Writing Magic- John Brown, Al Carlisle, Teri Hartman, Brandon Sanderson, Natalie Whipple, with Emily Martha Sorensen moderating
- Mass Autograph Signing
Best points picked up from Sandra Tayler’s reading:
- It’s okay to treat yourself kindly.
- It’s okay to do your own thing.
- It’s okay to pursue a life of creativity.
Best points picked up from the query workshop:
- You have three sentences or less to grab attention.
- Watch out for wordiness.
- Use the RIGHT words.
- Have a really clear idea of what you’re pitching!
Best points picked up from Using Words to Build Words:
- World building is what separates speculative fiction from all other genres.
- Conflict is what makes writing into a story (Dan Wells).
- Iceberg theory: Show 10% of what you’ve built, but know the other 90%.
- Geography affects the way culture and society develops.
Best points from The Rules for Writing Magic:
- “Been done before” doesn’t mean anything- be creative.
- A story with great characters and weak magic will sustain better than strong magic and weak characters.
- Set your rules early on.
- Maintain consistency.
- Know your limitations (geography, cost, genetics, range, etc.).
- Know the purpose of your magic (scale of sense of wonder to plot tool).
- Magic should be grounded in reality.
- Magic should be AWESOME.
- Focus on one thing and dig in deep- have a deep system rather than a wide one.
- What does magic teach us about ourselves and our worlds?
All right. Long overdue summary of LTUE that went on hold because of hiatus. As always, I learned a lot from the experience. I waited too long to be able to remember everything I wanted to touch on, I think, but I also took very good notes (16 pages for Thursday alone…). That should help me reconstruct some of the points I wanted to talk about. Warning, this is a list-heavy post.
Thursday, 13 Feb. 2014- Sessions Attended: (more…)
Life, the Universe, and Everything 32 was pretty awesome. I really enjoyed the panels that I attended. Some felt like refresher courses in things I already knew about writing (which is not a bad thing), some were informative, and others, like the readings I attended, were simply fun. In between, I got to do some networking and hang out with cool people. Right now I’m just going to tell you which panels and presentations I went to. Later I’m going to touch on some of the things I got out of each day that were most relevant to me.