In case you missed it, go here for the Post-Conference giveaway.
In this post, I thought I would share a few tidbits of information from the conference. This is by no means comprehensive, and you should take ANY OPPORTUNITY to hear these speakers. Everyone presenting at this conference was amazing. EVERYONE.
In the Novel Intensive:
Michael Stearns enlightened us about how his book packaging company works. It was really interesting! I loved this quote that he shared: "I write only when inspiration strikes me," Maugham explained. "Fortunately, it strikes me every morning at nine o'clock sharp." (His presentation was about how the in-depth outlining a book packager uses could be helpful to writers in their own work.)
Bruce Coville spoke about plot and character. He said a good story can be summed up as "who wants what and why they can't have it." Character is plot, and plot reveals character. Bruce is an outstanding speaker.
Elizabeth Law did a presentation on revision. She used examples and letters from her own authors and edit letters, and it was a fantastic and eye-opening talk! The point that stuck with me from this talk was to listen to your intuition--whatever piece of the critique makes you most defensive probably needs the most work. (I believe that particular advice came from Micol Ostow.)
In the First Page critiques, Bruce advised getting rid of very, suddenly, began to, just, there, and was as much as possible. Michael referred to much of some of the openings as "rhetorical throat clearing" or the stuff that needs to come out first, but is only for the writer, and should be deleted. He said, "When readers know something, they stop paying attention." Bruce added, "The questions carry you more than the answers do."
So, that was the first day. I think I will come back on Thursday with nuggets from the second day of the conference. Remember to click the link at the top to enter the giveaway!