Friday, April 19, 2013

PPWC - Day 2 (Friday)

So this is day two of the Pikes Peak Writers Conference.  I started the day with "Small Steps to Big Books" with Matthew Frederick.  He introduced me to the concept of a writer's "platform" - the notion that you want to strive to build an up a sort of portfolio of work before you unleash your magnum opus.  He also made the point that you might want to introduce yourself to the world of publishing via a route that might not be the first thing that you think of - like commenting on web sites and writing book reviews on Amazon.

Next up was a "Read and Critique: Author" with Todd Fahnestock.  This was by far the most useful part of the conference for me so far because it involved feedback on some of my work.  Todd was also super nice while still giving useful criticism.  Listening to other author's works and the feedback they received was also very helpful - something that I hardly expected.

"How to Avoid Potential Roadblocks with Twist Phelan had some useful pointers regarding things to avoid in your book or story.  For example, she mentioned that having an action sequence for the sake of having an action sequence is a bad idea.

Brian Schwartz's "e-Book Covers" was also very useful because it covered how to market an e-book.  While I don't expect to make a living from my writing, I do want more readers.  Brian had lots of ideas, though one idea that I had was to narrate your own story and then send it in to various podcasts like my own personal favorite: the Drabblecast.

The last workshop that I went to was Barry Eisler's "Writing the Bad Guy Protagonist."  One of the points he made that rang true was the idea that how a character is viewed is often in the context of the other characters.  Having a "bad guy" as the protagonist can work if the other characters in the story are worse than he is.

Lastly David Liss talked at dinner about the role of negative emotions in the writing process.  He talked about his own experience of using fear and anxiety to motivate him in writing his first novel and how he actively tried to recapture that same energy when writing subsequent novels.

All in all a good day with lots of useful information.  Check back tomorrow for day 3 where I will review "How to Keep your Readers up at Night," (other than by playing music...loudly).

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