Day Two of Bloody Words 2014

Fire alarm had me up just after midnight but I still got enough r.e.m to enjoy the morning panels, with a help from Starbucks. First one I hit was at 10 a.m. ‘You Are What You Write … or AreYou?’ A fireman writes about firemen but how much of himself is reflected in the characters – we write from our experience but often from what wish we had experienced. When good people do bad things it’s more compelling than when evil people do bad things.

bed the bed I was awoken from

I followed that at 11 a.m. ‘Reinventing History’ – how not to let historical accuracy stand in the way of a good story. Research needs are fine but I would have liked more on how not to impose today’s morals on the historical period one is writing in. There was some discussion of period use of language. Informative & encouraging.

dusty dusty reflections

Gout out of the hotel for lunch at Burger Bratz (or something like that). Ordinary done well at a good price. Back for 1:30 -‘Pssst, Wanna Be a Professional Author’ – a look at getting in front of an audience to present – something I have some experience in – I wanted to see how a professional coach approached this topic. He was focused and to the point. But missed a few key points, for me, mainly dress as if you mean to be there, pick material suitable for your audience, & be interested in what you read.

After that at 2:30 was ‘Old Sins Cast Long Shadows’ – who does the crime affect besides the ‘doer,’ the ‘victim’ & the ‘hero’ – i.e. what about the schoolmate of the child whose father went on a killing spree? How to tell backstory without an info dump, & other structural concerns were talked about.

dinner banquet bonanza

I opted to skip the 3:30 panels – two in a row is my limit & I might have opted out for the 4:30 panels as well just to really relax but I had signed on to be time keeper for: 4:30 ‘The Evil Men Do.’ I was expecting something like ‘how do you write about evil’ but it became a discussion about ‘what is evil’ as opposed to how do you use cultural ills – racism, poverty – to propel your story. In some ways it echoed the first panel: When good people do bad things it’s more compelling than when evil people do bad things.

The banquet was as expected – blandly good food, great table conversation & amusing speechifying & giving out of various prizes. A full day that left me both drained & invigorated.

dessert dessert deserted

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