Friday, July 30, 2010

RWA Conference Updates

The Pink Heart Society's own Michelle Styles reports in on the action at RWA National, 2010.

Friday started bright and early with Susan Elizabeth Phillips speaking about the six magic words -- Keep the Reader Within the Story. I loved her approach including rereading the scenes with the heroine checking for her emotinal growth, then the hero and finally the scenes with them together. Her handout covers the key points but she expresses things with such humour.

Then I went to hear the owner of Trident Media speak about what agents should be doing for you in the changing publishing landscape. Totally fascinating. But really his final message about learning as much about publishing is important. Most of piracy happens when work is stolen before it is published as files for various reasons are zooming about the internet unprotected by DRM.

Jayne Anne Krentz spoke at the lunch giving her three rules for success -- know your core story, know your market, know your fictional landscape.

After lunch, it was time for Donald Maass -- Fire in Fiction part 2 where he talked about creating moments of change for your character to fix flat scenes -- basically identify what changes for the pov character in the scene, find the point where it changes and go back ten minutes to show how they saw themselves, then forward ten minutes and again write a short paragraph about they are currently feeling. How is it different? There were other exercises on finding passions and strongly held opinions. Basically it was about putting that fire and passion in your scenes through specific detail. It is the details that help create the memories and bring the connnection. He is very good in person and his books are excellent. A lot of what he was saying made sense.

Then it was on to the Unusual Historical panel where I learnt that the Unusual Historical market is opening up slightly. Avon recently bought a Regency set in the Ottoman Empire debut. Pocket has bought a Victorian set in South Africa. Berkley also continues to buy selectively. The new Harlequin Historical Undone author Ashley who just sold in Medieval Japan was also there. The point was made that you need to lower barriers -- for example exotic location but keep one of the characters as British or American. Remember the fairy tale element and that the story is a Romance.

After that, I felt so tired that I am resting prior to the Harlequin party. Wimpish I know, but last night I went to bed after 12 am, and was up at 7 am. The Harlequin party is legendary!!!!

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