Sunday, April 21, 2013

PPWC - Final Day (Sunday)

So this was the last day of the conference.

First up was Jaxine Daniels workshop "Character Building with Tony and Dr. Phil".  Jaxine made excellent use of slides & A/V.  One of the things I took away from  this talk was the notion that conflict does not have to be of the crossed swords, bazooka battle variety.  In fact, conflict can very work well when two "good" values or motivations are pitted against each other.  For example: one the protagonist wants to be honest with the rest of their team but cannot because he swore to keep something secret.

Next up was "Plot, Structure and Pushing Your Characters" with Hannah Bowman.  This was my favorite workshop for the morning - largely because my stories are sorely in need of structure.  Hannah went over the whole opening/story/climax cycle.  Like a presentation, it is a good idea for a story to have structure: it doesn't have to but it is a very good idea to have it.  She also talked about "Eucatastrophe" - something that Corey Olsen (the Tolkien professor) talks about.

The last work was "Fast as a Snail: Pacing" with Deb Courtney.  In this workshop Deb talked about using things like paragraph length and word choice to pick up the pace for a story.  She also read a bit of my work out loud - thanks Deb!

Overall, I'm glad I attended the PPWC.  I liked the way that I could strike up a conversation easily by just asking someone "What do you write?"  The other person would immediately know what I meant and we both felt at home talking about our work.

I wished there had been some sort of feedback workshop where people could come and get someone to read their stuff for 15min or so and get more feedback.  The feedback I got via the Read and Critique was wonderful, but it only covered the first two pages of my manuscript.

I learned a lot about writing and the world of writing for a living.  From story structure to how to market an e-book, the conference was crammed with information.  I would definitely recommend it to someone who is a "serious" writer or thinking of becoming one.

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