Tuesday, February 24, 2009

LTUE Writer's Conference

I had a great time at the writing conference this past weekend. Below is a summary of some of the events that I attended.

The three concepts of a Romance (or the basic formula):

By: Lynn Kurland
1. Boy meets girl. Or called the “Meeting”.
2. Stuff happens. The scenes or events after the “meeting” that lead up to the “courtship”.
3. Boy gets girl. Or called the “Courtship”.
4. Happily Ever After*. Or the “Conclusion”. *however clich├ęd this might be it is the most important element in writing a romance, there are no sad or unhappy endings in romance, it is not what the audience expects of wants. 52% of all book sales are romance genre so you have to keep within the formula given to appease your readers. Shakespeare did not write a good romance with Romeo and Juliet it was a tragedy.

Conflict and the Mechanism of Story:By: Clint Johnson
Narrative: is language. A story is the way humans make scents out of the world of belief. Story is relevance. Narrative is a machine: ever component of narrative (plot, character, scene, summary, climax) are all parts that make this machine run. Conflict is the seed or the root of narration.
Engine or Narrative:
1. Conflict: this forces action. The character has to be forced to make a decision to move the story along to see what this person might or might not do.
2. Action: this leads to revealing the persons character. Through the decision that the character has made we see them grow and develop.
3. Character: leads to facilitating suspension of disbelief. We want the reader to forget they are reading and get lost in the world of fantasy.
4. Suspension of Character: leads to identity. Being able to form something out of what is being told.

LDS Sci Fi/ Fantasy Writers:
(Panel members included: Michael Collings, James Dashner, Jessica Day George, Laura Hickman, Tracy Hickman, and Brandon Sanderson.)

Being LDS and writing Science fiction and fantasy can be difficult. Many people believe you can’t be both. How does being LDS help you write SF&F?

·Moral Standards: Language- honest to yourself, but responsible for your readers.
Letting your character have free range of their language can distract your reader from what you are trying to say.
It doesn’t limit you- what you write changes people, effects them positively even if it is a dark subject.

·Does being LDS help with writing? Yes, we understand the hero’s journey through Nephi (a hero from the Book of Mormon). –Faith teaches us to ask questions- cause and effect and consequences of actions.
We believe strongly in the power of metaphor and symbols- we are, by nature, accepted of strange ideas and beliefs. We are authors, authors made better by being LDS.
A truly well written novel is a universal thing. Story speaks to everyone, being LDS adds to that. “We are not LDS authors, but authors who have the benefit of being LDS,” Tracy Hickman. We have more access to truth in one place than anyone and we can use that.

Creative Reading 201Main Address by: Tracy Hickman

Story is meaning. The reader is the writer’s partner in creation—their companion. There are three lessons to creative reading:
1. No book ever lives until it has been read. The author is there to put the image on the page, but the reader interprets the meaning there. It doesn’t matter if you are published, only if you are read. Being read is the most important thing to an author. The reader creates the meaningful experience.
2. The Spirit of the Lord speaks to us between the words. Meaning is found in the white space. Just as in the scriptures so it is in everyday books. There is meaning in everything that has been written and it is found in the white space.
3. The only constant is change and what we experience helps others. Tracy shared a story about a soldier that told him that it was the example of a character in his book that inspired him while in the middle of battle—the soldier was shot in the back but through the example of a heroic character his life and 12 other men were saved that day. The soldier offered Tracy his Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
So long as the cover is closed and not read it is unknown as to what it contains. The reade3r is changed by what we as writers write. So go to work.

I also got some great information from other authors but were as this post is getting long enough I wont go into them. Check out their websites though located on the right side of this blkog screen. Happy writing.

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