[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.
FORGET WHAT YOU THINK YOU KNOW. TAKE & USE WHAT YOU LEARN. AND GIVE BACK.
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 CuriosityQuills.com. Tune in next time for whatever my imagination happens to spit out. Be sure to write.