Sunday, February 16, 2014

LTUE 2014 Review

[picture me making the explosion gestures next to my head]
Yeah, it's like that.

I cannot show enough appreciation to my mentor Jason King for including me on such a spectacular event. As I understand with cons, the last day is a haphazard quagmire of people trying to get stuff in at the last minute and all the good panelists are gone. Not so in this case.

Arrival consisted of Jason, Jon, and I munching chocolate donuts and staring at our 8.5 x 11 schedules trying to decide which panels we wanted to hit. It was not an easy decision. Eventually I ended up going to a couple myself as the other fellas stood in line for book signing and/or manned the publisher's table. It reminded me of being a gung-ho college freshman perusing the course catalog and deciding which classes were worthy enough of cutting into eating/sleeping/studying time. It really was a "kid in a candy store" moment, but in this case the candy was free (to me) and it was going to teach me secrets to making my own candy and getting paid to do so.

Rather than take the easy route of sitting in on things I already thought I knew, I decided to make it worth the free pass and actually learn something. The panels I went to were: Writing Solid Dialogue, Keynote with Orson Scott Card, Writing Hard Science Fiction, Writing Without an Outline, and Why You Should Write Short Fiction and How It Can Help Launch You as a Novelist. I would love to include the names of all panelists involved, but that's as of yet not loaded on the LTUE website.

Suffice it to say, I learned a lot, met some great folks, formed a very viable new contact in the publishing world (I'm talking about you James Wymore), and overall made wonderful use of a Saturday I otherwise would have wasted.

So to any and all others out there, DON'T get discouraged and quit, DON'T say to yourself "this will never work. Who am I, one among millions?" DO make contacts and friends. GO. TO. CONS! Even if you don't get face time with authors - such was not the case for me, I chatted with 5 - it is worth the gas, time, and everything else.


One of the panels I sat in on involved a discussion of profiling/interviewing/getting to know your characters deeply and intimately. They will essentially be your family for many many months. The only downfall of the panel was that the speaker couldn't name a character profile to use. That's not to say that there is only one out there. Her advice was "Google it." It works. I have posted before several such links.
I am hoping to organize a smattering of world and character building posts for Tune in next time for whatever my imagination happens to spit out. Be sure to write.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Chronology: It's About Time

As I continue scrawling page after page of my first book, I can't help but think that I have enough material planned for four or maybe even five books. The reason it stretches beyond a trilogy, with one book for each generation, is that there are significant events that transpire which will fit well as the climax for each tale.

Thinking about this leads me to draw comparisons with other movies and books.

Forrest Gump - the run time of the movie is 2 hours and 22 minutes, but covers Forrest's life from the ages of around 7 to 38. The movie itself isn't what I would consider overly long, but it feels so by the end due to how much time is covered within the story.

Legends of the Fall - 2 hours and 13 minutes isn't long for the 60+ years that are covered in the telling.

Lord of the Rings - The Hobbit and the trilogy cover some
Bilbo is 50 when Gandalf draws him into the quest with the dwarves, during which he finds the One Ring. He was 131 when he boarded the ship for the Grey Havens. Frodo was 33 when Bilbo left him the ring after their shared birthday (that's right, both were born Sept 22) party. He was 53 when he accompanied Bilbo to the Grey Havens. The main line of the quest to destroy the ring is one month short of a year. Yes, I know, the movies and the books differ. In the book it takes 17 years for the Ring to leave the Shire, that's a long time to hold onto a really crappy birthday present!

The Wheel of Time series covers ages of repeating history, but only follows the main character of Rand al'Thor from the age of 20 to around 22.

And last, but by far not the least, the Time of Legends trilogy follows the hero Sigmar from the eve prior to his first battle to his abdication, ages 15 to 80.

I am by no means comparing my as-yet-to-be-finished, first book to these favorites of mine. I am merely illustrating that great tales can be told in a few hours to thousands of pages.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Join Us in a Cold Embrace

My blogger buddy Nils invited me to join February's blog carnival: The Icy Embrace of Winter

I have thus done so. And I sequentially invite any and all others to gang in on the frosty fracas.

I'm not participating via this blog (Realmwright) but rather through One Walker's Journal because the current theme of that blog just suits the subject better.