May 28, 2013 by Tiffany A. Robbins
ConQuesT was a wonderful experience for me, and I recommend it to anyone in the KC area.
So this is a follow-up post to my previous blog. My sister, J C Towim, and I went to ConQuesT 44 over the weekend. Sadly, we missed Friday’s festivities due to my work schedule.
The highlight for me? Other than my personal writer’s workshop with Alan Ryker, it had to be meeting George R. R. Martin. Towim wasn’t thrilled about having to stand in line to get our autographs from him, but the line moved very quickly and I now have a signed Game of Thrones paperback. I’d really wanted something more collectible signed, but I didn’t get around to figuring out what I’d get signed until Thursday evening and I couldn’t find much, not even a hardcover. I was happy to find what I did though. I’d considered having him sign the hardback I already had, but it is so worn from reading that I wanted something new. Towim happened to have a set of his comics to sign, which was quite rare in the line of autograph seekers.
He was a very kind man. I wish I had gotten around to at least one of his panels, but it was a crazy, hectic weekend and it was very difficult to get to see everything.
I wanted to share with you a few of the writing highlights I took away from the Con panelists.
- It is okay to self-publish as long as you’re willing to pay for professional services (ie. editing, cover art).
- It is okay to be a prolific writer and as such a hybrid of self-publishing and traditional publishing is probably the way to go.
- I should be a more prolific writer.
- I should probably bit the bullet and watch Buffy.
- To use a fantasy/sci-fi setting, it is beneficial if you have a story that can only take place in that setting rather than having that setting simply to have that setting.
- To make a character become a hero, you have to neuter all the “real” heroes
- A writer should leave a character’s emotions ambiguous rather than trying to dip into their heads when inappropriate.
- Resist front-loading world building information. You want the reader to have questions about the world because then their curiosity is hooked. However, you must do this while holding the audience’s trust in you as an author.
- It is okay to reject a traditional publishing house’s contract terms.
Of course, my absolute favorite part of the show was the personal writer’s workshop where Alan Ryker reviewed my yeti novel (Justice to the Yeti). He was kind enough to give me two hours of his time to talk shop about my writing, his writing, and writing in general. He gave me some new confidence in aspects of my writing that I was kind of scared about, and he gave me some great suggestions and things to think over. He left me ambitious for the future and determined to read more horror genre.
If you are interested in coming to ConQuesT in the future, go sign up right now. They have a super early bird registration of $30 through June 1st 2013. That is half off what the cost at the door will most likely be. My sister and I are both determined to go again next year, but we’re going to be sure not to leave our jealous husbands at home next time. They’re bigger geeks than we are!
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