Sunday, March 30, 2008

Southern Lights Conference- Recap 1

The First Coast Romance Writers Southern Lights Conference officially ended today, and it was a well-organized, rewarding event for writers at all stages of their careers. I just arrived home a few hours ago and am in the process of sorting through all my books and materials. Over the next week, I plan to post information and news I learned during the course of the conference. Listening to Suzanne Brockmann and attending the various workshops was definitely a treat, and I learned a lot over the two days. Also, visiting the book signing was a highlight of the weekend, given the wide variety of books and authors.

For now, I will post the major points from the Q & A Session with Suzanne Brockmann. Brockmann started with some insights into her drafting process, stating that she likes to set down 8 pages outlines before sitting down to write. However, she emphasized that "writing is so organic- it has to work for you." She also reminded authors that something has to happen in each scene to propel the story. She cautioned writers that we are currently in a 'white knuckle' period when agents/editors are more hesitant to take risks on unusual plot lines and/or characters. Brockmann then noted that authors should write what they want, and their passion will reflect on the pages. In addition, she stated that when she was first starting out, she would take note of her favorite authors and observe the types of books they first wrote and how long it took for them to achieve success. Finally, she said her husband's career as a lawyer inspired her to label of daily word count as "billable hours," which is a wonderful idea since writers don't have a specific product to show until the story is written and published.

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