Last weekend, on the tail-end of my two work weeks in San Diego, I had the incredible experience of attending the Writers Digest Conference in New York City. What is that, you ask? Well, that my friends, is where budding writer wannabes go to attend training sessions on every facet of writing you can think of, from initial outlines to acquiring an agent to plots and character building to publishing, and more.
It was ah-mazing.
I had many favorite sessions. Two were led by best selling author Steven James (@readStevenJames) on character development and building suspense. Y’all. It was like having a personal sculpting session with Michelangelo while he’s chipping away on the Pietà. Like anyone who is great at something, he made it sound simple. (spoiler: it’s not). But wow, how cool to listen to him talk about it. Plus he’s HILARIOUS.
There was another session on plotting and structure by Gabriela Pereira (@DIYFMA) who has more in her brain about writing than the Library of Congress. Honestly, I don’t see how she carries it all around. In her one hour session I went through three pens in my vain attempt to write it all down. So much great information.
Do you remember when I told you to read American Ghost by J.D. Barker? (@jdbarker) He was there! In the flesh! And he has the cutiest little baby and the prettiest wife. Anyway, J.D. spoke about crossing genres; meaning, not being pigeonholed into one kind of writing. Let’s say you like to write thriller/horror but you also like to write thriller/suspense. Sometimes in the publishing world, that’s easier said than done. But, J.D. has it all figured out. Get this: he was asked by Bram Stoker’s family to co-write a prequel for Dracula, titled Dracul. It is scheduled for release October 2, 2018. The film rights have been optioned by Paramount! Cool, right?
It is probably unfair of me to single out these presentations. Every single one I attended was fantastic and I came home with my head bursting with information. The very best part, though, was meeting so many would-be authors just like me. I found my tribe!