Friday, July 25, 2008

New Experience

Today I attended my first writer's conference, and it was interesting. Lots of wannabes like me, all ages, from 12 to, I'm guessing, about 85. The first event I attended was a panel discussion with agents and editors. Katharine Sands and Janet Reid (agents) and Benjamin LeRoy (editor for Bleak House books). They started out by telling us a little bit about themselves and what they do, and then opened it up to questions.

I kept my mouth shut. As a wise man once said, better to keep my mouth shut and be thought a fool, than open my mouth and prove it. So I just listened.

I thought most of the questions were pretty good, fairly educated questions. I didn't glean a great deal of new information, mostly because I read agent and editor blogs frequently and have seen most of these questions answered in those forums, but it was still interesting to listen to the answers and see the person(s) providing the answers.

Janet Reid is very energetic and witty, and obviously knowledgeable. She's not shy about making her point, but not harsh about it, either.

Katharine Sands comes across as sophisticated and also knowledgeable. Her style is a little more reserved than Janet's, but she gets her point across.

Benjamin LeRoy is younger than I expected and if I were to describe him in one word: serious.

They all share a common trait. They are passionate about their work. It is obvious that they love what they do. They love books and writers, and they love being involved in the process of making a story as good as it can be and getting it into print and making it available to the public.

The next session I attended was a workshop on character development, hosted by Claire Matturro, author of four published novels: Bone Valley, Wildcat Wine, Skinny Dipping, and Sweetheart Deal. She's a very nice lady and a talented writer, and the workshop was interesting and offered some excellent insights on character development.

Overall, it was an interesting day. And tomorrow, I attend another session hosted by Janet Reid called Going Commando. It deals with the question: do you need a literary agent. I'm looking forward to it.

And then tomorrow afternoon I have my manuscript consultation with, you probably guessed it already, Janet Reid. Strangely, I'm not as nervous as I was earlier in the week. I expect some criticism. I can look at the 25 pages I sent in and see where I need to trim some fat. I expect to be told I need to whittle down chapter two, eliminate some redundacy and get rid of some sections of dialogue that can be dealt with later in the story. I'm going in with an open mind, and hopefully I won't get hammered too hard. Whatever happens, it will be an experience I won't forget, I'm sure of that.

More to come...


At 9:01 AM , Blogger Sarah Laurenson said...

Have you checked out Janet's Query blog? Query Shark

I love it. Interesting to read about her personality and put it all together.

At 6:09 PM , Blogger Robin S. said...

Very cool, Wood. Very cool, indeed.


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