Fantasy, Romance, and Other Genre Fiction

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LTUE 32: Friday

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?



LTUE 32: A Brief Summary

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.  



Life, the Universe, and Everything 32 is this weekend.  I’m excited.  I’ll be heading out here in a few minutes.

I’ll probably be tweeting more than blogging over the next few days (not that this is anything new) but I guarantee that I’m going to have a lot of racing thoughts and good ideas.

And maybe next year I can be a participant and not just an attendee, right?

Starting to process LTUE

It was a wonderful, fabulous weekend.  I think the only low was when I lost my jacket and couldn’t find it, but everyone was so helpful and I was able to find it again.  (Even if it did take seven hours.  I still was able to find it thanks to awesome people, and everything was still in the pockets.)

I can’t even begin to process ALL of it just yet.  I want to do this write-up properly, so I’ll probably write more extensively on the experience tomorrow after I have had time to digest.  It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.  It’s the best decision of 2013 so far, and the best decision I’ve ever made as I work on moving my writing from deeply-involved hobby to career.

I got lots of neat stuff, and not all of it was flyers and bookmarks and nifty things from all the vendors.  The information I received was far more valuable than any physical thing.  I never knew both how ready I am to jump into the publishing world, and how much I didn’t–and still don’t–know.

There was a question on one panel where the moderator asked, “when did you feel like you could call yourself a real writer?”  One of the answers really struck me, because I think it hit on what I’ve been missing up until very recently.   When you are ready to commit to writing as a life, then you are a “real” writer.

I’m ready to commit.  Like the badge ribbon I got from Howard Tayler’s vendor table says, “I am out of  excuses.”

No more excuses.  No more whining.  No more letting fibromyalgia or depression keep me down.  This is the Year of Doing for me, and I am getting out there and doing.  (And getting in here and doing, and getting into Word and doing, you get the idea….)

All-in-all it was a very positive and encouraging experience, in spite of that little voice that keeps saying “too much competition; look at the people that are here and multiply that by a million or more”.  For the first time in my life I feel not only capable of competing, but READY to compete too.   So bring on the rejection letters and the eventual successes.  This is my year.

Why don’t they behave?

This is something that I’ve asked myself about my children in the past, but in this particular case, it’s my other set of children: my characters. I was getting a lot of work done today at my local gaming store ( I love my nearby geek community) when one of my characters decided that he wanted to show up in the prologue of book one, instead of halfway through book two as I had in my outline.


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