Thursday, April 9, 2009

Conference Notes Part II

More notes from the writers conference. Hope you find them helpful. Then pics of the crazy women below.

  • Make sure every character you have on the page has a personality so they seem real, even if it's a waitress. (Not too much info., or readers will wonder when that person is going to show up in the story again.)
  • Seed things in a few times before you reveal the answer or solve the dilemma. This stops things from happening out of the blue for the reader. Especially important if you write mysteries.
  • Get into a scene late and exit early. Never blather or drag things out with drinking-coffee-at-breakfast scenes. B-o-r-i-n-g.
  • Visualize each chapter as a scene. Make notes at the top of chaps. of what you want characters to do and say, what the scene is accomplishing, then complete and fill out.
  • If you don't know what a character arc is, find out!
  • Make sure your dialog follows the less is more rule. People talk in shorthand and with abbreviated words. Remember that.
  • Subtext adds to plot layering. It is the messages under the message.
  • Take advantage of all promotional activities. {My description: You must learn to be a carnival hawker!} Check out book clubs, giveaways of all sorts, handouts, biz cards, tv/radio/print, publicists, postcards, t-shirts, signings, thank you cards.
  • This just in: I emailed one of the speakers for this resource I didn't know about. Have you heard of HarperCollins' Authonomy website and blog? Check it out. (I'm planning on visiting regularly.)

Conference pics~~~

Steph and her biscuit at the Hampton. (That's author Alex Sokolov behind her.)

Deborah LeBlanc proudly displays a promo item for her pet project - the Literacy Challenge. "Don't be stupid...READ!!!"

Deb waits her turn to speak. (She showed Kathryn's Tender Graces trailer as an example of good promo work!) I love the library bubble windows.

Cyn & Steph outside our favorite Houma eating joint -- A-bear's (phonetically named so non-Cajuns can pronounce Hebert's).

Cyn at the free hotel breakfast. (Author Heather Graham and someone I don't know at table behind her.)

Local musicians provide entertainment at the library rooftop wine and cheese party.

Author/poet/professor Christopher Tusa.

PS See more pics from Kat's perspective at her blog!

Good friends, good words, good food, good music. Can't wait til next year!


DebraLSchubert said...

Angie, It sounds like the conference was extremely worthwhile. I'm glad you enjoyed it and that you chose to share it with us. The pics are priceless! I'm gearing up for Backspace in NYC next month, so this got me excited. Thanks!

Lori Tiron-Pandit said...

Thanks so much for all the photos and the information. It's extremely interesting and useful. It looks like you are having the best time. At least we can experience it through your blog and that's quite wonderful too.

Melissa Marsh said...

Ang, this looks like so much FUN! Wow. And I love your little tidbits of info. Great stuff.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Another great list, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I will tuck these away and use them!

Sandra Leigh said...

A-Bear's? LOL! I'm glad you had a good time, Angie - and I appreciate your sharing what you learned at the conference (I need to make up a virtual notebook to hold all this wisdom) - but I'm glad to see you and Kathryn back at home.

Michelle H. said...

This is great! Thanks for sharing!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Schube, hope your conference is everything you're hoping for!

Thanks, Lori. It truly was a good time.

Melissa, glad you liked. :)

Ya welcome, Carrie & TTWC.

Sandra, I'm glad I only had 2 hours to drive. Poor Kat had an all-day journey! But so glad to see her. :)

My pleasure, Michelle.

Jessica said...

And where are you woman! :-)
Great tips here. Thanks.

Debbie said...

A library rooftop wine and cheese party with music? Oh why wasn't I there? That sounds kinda like what I've always imagined heaven to be.

Rodell said...

Hey, these are great tips. Simple to apply to add sparkle to any already complete ms. Thanks for sharing and saving me the admission money.

Still, looks like we all missed a good time.

Have a great weekend!


Hit 40 said...

Thank you for sharing your conference notes. I try not to bore with too many story details on my blog such as coffee...

Anonymous said...

You know what? I'm reading Chris Tusa's first book right now! I started it last night!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Hi friend! Oh, what memories we'll have *smiling* and we already have....and will have.

I miss you already! *wah*...*sniffle*

Cheffie-Mom said...

Great info! The pictures are great, too!

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. Rooftop food, music and no crawfish? What is this world coming to? We really need to get Michelle down here and dunk her in the Gulf, then feed her crawfish, shrimp, and crabs, and all our other wildthings until she cries uncle. It was great seeing your youngun yesterday. He was with us the whole way. They really do grow up and turn into adults. Just look at Colby and Michelle.

Slendarella said...

Cool. That looks like a great time - rubbin' elbows with your peers! slendie

Playwright Chick said...

this looks like a seriously GOOD time and I bet you're getting so much great info! Living in Texas, I would have just driven right on over! I'd love to know about this in time for next year!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Jessica, I'm home in Big B.R. (Baton Rouge). :)

I really did think of you up on the rooftop, Debbie.

Chris, you're welcome, and you have a great weekend yourself!

Glad you liked, Hit40.

Blueviolet, what a strange coinkidink. How'd you come by it?

Wahhhhh, me too, Kat!

Thanks, Cheffie.

Oren, they'd never leave after that, and we'd have 2 new honorary Cajuns. :) Glad you saw Fresh Prince at the alley.

Truly was, Slendie. Truly was.

Playwright, thanks for dropping in! I wish the organizers would advertise further out too. Would love to meet more writing friends. Put it on your calendar for April 2010.

Lynnette Labelle said...

Thanks for continuing on today. Love everything you've said.

Lynnette Labelle

Angie Ledbetter said...

Lynette, that makes me happy.

Chuck Dilmore said...

Beautiful, Angie!
Thank you for attending, and for bringing this back for us!


Angie Ledbetter said...

My pleasure, Chuck. Been enjoying your blog posts.

Deb Shucka said...

It sure sounds like the conference was a hit, and then some. As always, I love reading the tips that you share. The pictures are great, too. That much fun needs an audience.

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