As I write this, it is exactly two weeks in the future and I’m
nauseous anxious excited about the prospect. I printed out the daily schedule months ago. I’ve hounded the organizers about getting my meeting appointments ( which can’t happen until the Thursday it begins).
In fact, this is a (non-exhaustive) list of things I’ve done in anticipation of this conference:
- Print out a daily schedule
- Read through every class description
- Read the bios of the presenters
- Polish the first 20 pages of my manuscript and submitted it for a critique with a published author
- Prepare a One Sheet for the book I’m going to pitch
- Write, practice, stress over, scratch and rewrite my pitch for the agent meeting I’ve scheduled
- Research parking lots and restaurants within walking distance of the conference center
- Scour my closet for the perfect casual-professional outfit that includes shoes comfortable enough to wear while walking all over the city
- Awake at 4:30 am on multiple occasions to rework my pitch
- Review the schedule
- Give myself positive self-talk about interacting with strangers
- Read numerous blogs with tips for what to do (or not) at a conference
One of my go-to writing gurus is the keynote speaker: Larry Brooks. Yes, the one and same master of story structure who I’ve quoted innumerable times on this blog. If you don’t own his book Story Engineering, you need to click on that link and add it to your reference library now.
The Amazing Mr. Brooks is giving us Story 101, 202 and 303 (which I will miss since I’m not attending on Sunday). I’m going to learn how idea, concept and premise are related and when they collide (sounds messy) that’s when I know I have a story. And of course he’s giving the “Discovering Story through Structure” talk on Saturday. It’s his trademark.
Aside from the Amazing Mr. Brooks, I’ll hear agents, editors and other writers spill the beans about different aspects of writing. Here is a list of sessions I hope to attend while at the conference:
- Agent panel
- Crafting a Page Turner
- The Perfect Pitch
- The Final Polish
- Dialogue for Fiction and Film
- POV in Genre Fiction
I’m attending with a local writing buddy. She will sit in on four different sessions (and some of the same) and promises to take copious notes (meaning she expects me to do the same). My head feels like exploding already.
Feel free to share your conference experiences here. Also, I’ll be writing about it in several more posts over the next two weeks.