So I have returned – and recovered – from the conference. It was amazing. When I go to SF/F cons, I generally go to panels on the writers track – but it was nowhere near the level of this weekend.
Where to start? There was a wide variety to see. Panels about both traditional and self-publishing. The pros and cons of both. Panels where agents, editors from big publishers, and independently publishing authors all spoke about where the industry is going. It was great. It gave me a lot to think about.
Every writer thinks at some point about being the next J.K. Rowling. Even if you go indie, who hasn’t imagined that? There’s that bit of ego in everyone. So while I met a lot of people who were considering publishing independently, the idea of the traditional route was not completely ruled out.
I have this argument with a friend of mine whenever we discuss publishing. He thinks outside the box more than I do. At least from my point of view. I can’t shake the idea of being traditionally published.
I would be lying though if I didn’t say that the conversations I heard this weekend didn’t make me think that some sort of hybrid route is the way to go. I’m trying not to mull this over too much. I have work to do, LOL. One cannot come back from such a weekend and not have the project wheels turning.
Then there were the craft focused workshops. I got some great ideas about how to more effectively rewrite. It sounds small, because getting the damn thing done the first time is really challenging. However, then you must go back and shred your baby, the baby that you fought so hard for. It’s not easy. Being organized, and having a defined system helps to minimize distraction. That’s what I took from some of the workshops.
I also got a great POV about how to analyze the forward progress of the story. One of the things I heard over and over was that you have to trust instinct. I go on instinct a lot. Having a process, though, to look through the action and progress would make things a lot more simple. More effective, too.
So a great mix of business and craft. I definitely want to do this again next year. I think it was invaluable. Seeing how others do things opens your eyes up to possibilities that can work for you.
Oh! And from my previous blog on what the hell to wear? Business casual. I even stepped out of my normal monochromatic choices and wore patterns. That were not black, or white! Oh the horror! LOL!
As with other cons, wear great shoes. I wore really comfy ones, but even those required some moleskin after over 12 hours of wear.
I also was able to chat with an agent, which I think went well. You can practice your elevator pitch a gajillion times and still have shaking hands when put on the spot. I think I managed to keep the shaking to a minimum.
Now back to some more work.