Friday 5 (or 8) Mega tips and facts from the conference.

I walked away with a whole bunch of information, new friendships, and a whirlwind of revision ideas to apply to my work. But here are some of the highlights.

1. The kidlit writing community totally rocks.

2. Most series start out as one book and slowly build from there. So leave some open- ended plot lines and unanswered questions that can be developed down the road. Just in case.

3. R.L. Stine wrote all his books with his pointer finger.  #Arthritisanyone?

4. Elision is a fancy MFA term that just means subtext. Okay it might mean a bit more than that but its using sensory details, body language etc. to create the illusion of reality. #fancytalk

5. When speaking or writing, if you get emotionally indulgent and go on about yourself or your character and stray off topic, you lose the interest of your reader/listener.

6. To succeed means to fail. Even successful authors have had the plug pulled on a series that didn’t make it.  #encouraging

7. The only way to get published and reach your dreams is to DO THE WORK.

8. Never go to a conference that does not sell Starbucks in the lobby.

Obviously some were more serious than others. I mean not having excellent coffee at a writer’s conference is like breaking the first commandment. And some of those tips I could write a blog post on. #nextweekmaybe

If you go to conferences, what are the two biggest reasons you attend?

28 Responses to Friday 5 (or 8) Mega tips and facts from the conference.

  1. Ansha Kotyk May 20, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    I *heart* you, Laura. Really I do. And your blogging voice rocks. Just sayin’. Carry on.

  2. Nelsa May 20, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Sounds like you had a great time! Sigh. I need to go to more conferences!

    • Laura May 20, 2011 at 11:45 am #

      Thanks Ansha!

      Nelsa – I don’t think it’s something writers have to go to but it’s worth the money! 🙂

  3. Stina Lindenblatt May 20, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    For the inspiration and the awesome knowledge. I find once I go back to my hotel room, I’m fired up to write. And this pumped up feeling lasts until the next conference (a year later). 😀

  4. Sheri Larsen May 20, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    These are great, but #5 really struck a cord with me. Always gear your half of any conversation to include your recipient. 🙂 Proverbs: Let others boast about you.

    We learn so much from sharing ourselves with others and even more as they share back.

  5. Becky Taylor May 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Great! When I go to a conference it’s to take great classes from other writers (or from agents and editors.) I also love to hook up with other writers and friends and just share in this amazing community.

  6. Karen Strong May 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    You are so right about #1. This community totally rocks!

    I’ve been thinking about #2 and I think you may be right about this one. Taking it to heart with my current project.

    Have a fabulous weekend. 🙂

  7. Karen Strong May 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    You are so right about #1. This community totally rocks!

    I’ve been thinking about #2 and I think you may be right about this one. Taking it to heart with my current project.

  8. Lydia K May 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing the details!

    Can I just say I’ve been so guilty of #5 in my writing lately? I’ve been cutting out a lot of internal lately because of that.

    Great post, Laura.

    Hey, on an aside. Do you read a lot of MG? Can I pick your brain on something?

    lydiaykang (at) gmail (dot) com.

  9. Jessica Bell May 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    I wish I could GET to a conference!

  10. kris May 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    LOL. Totally mirrored you today. I guess we WERE at the same conference. Like next to each other. 🙂

    • Laura May 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

      I’ve been out with a friend for coffee but thanks everyone for commenting. There were a couple of my points that did really strike a chord with me. And now Butt in chair. After I get some cleaning done!

  11. Susan Kaye Quinn May 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Wha?? No Starbucks? #thatisacrime

    I love conferences! #conferenceenvy I’m doing a writing intensive this year, which feels very different, but in a cool way. #myfirsttime

  12. Alicia Gregoire May 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    I only go to conferences for the coffee. (And to see who DOESN’T look like their avatar.)

  13. Angela Felsted May 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Looks like you learned good stuff. So people like me, who don’t drink coffee, are doomed to failure I guess.

  14. Kelly Polark May 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Well, proximity is number one as I don’t have the cash to fly to conferences. But luckily my state offers awesome conferences! Basically if they are having one and it works with my schedule, I’m there!
    Sounds like an amazing time!

  15. Lisa Green May 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    I love the energy a good conference gives me. I always feel so inspired afterward, like so much is possible. I also love immersing myself in the world of other writers who feel/think the same way I do (which lets face it is a bit weird). So yeah, I think those are my top 2 reasons. But there are so many. I’m glad you had a good experience!

  16. Donna K. Weaver May 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    Funny how sometimes stating the obvious can suddenly click something in our heads, isn’t it?

  17. Jessica R. Patch May 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    No Starbucks? Crime.

    I go to conferences to absorb like a sponge and to meet my online friends and build relationships. I also like to lurk in the bathroom waiting on agents so I can slip them my ms under the stall! KIDDING!!! Have a great weekend.

    • Laura May 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

      Ha ha! No there was Starbucks available. I just couldn’t imagine being at a writer’s conference where there wasn’t any available! 🙂

  18. I'm Just Sayin May 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    Nice points!! No starbucks though? That really is a travesty! I’ve never been to a conference…but they sound fascinating on various levels.

  19. Margo May 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    I LOVe conferences! They are so inspiring, not to mention educational, and other writers/book lovers are the best to connect with.

    I got a great tip from my last conference (last summer, I can only manage one a year) that I used all the time: instead of just action, think “character-driven action”.

  20. Anna Staniszewski May 20, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    Funny how we were signed up for all the same workshops! I think “Do the work” is going to be new mantra from now on. 🙂

  21. LynNerd May 20, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    I laughed out loud when I read Alicia’s and Jessica’s comments. Needed a good laugh. And a cup of coffee sounds good right now.

    That’s amazing that R.L. Stine wrote with one finger. How sad that he had arthritis so bad.

    I’ve never heard the term “elision.” Sounds confusing.

    I go to conferences because there’s so much to learn and even if it’s something I’ve heard before, it’s good to have it reinforced. I also love hanging out with other writers. Best people in the world in my book!

  22. Maria Toth May 21, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    I LOVE conferences, but unfortunately haven’t been able to afford them much lately. Though, I hope every writer has the opportunity to attend at least one SCBWI Summer Conference.

    And since I’m not able to attend many conferences, I make sure I do the work and attend critique regularly. I’m lucky to belong to 2 awesome groups.

    Oops! I better stop now, I think I’m bordering on a No. 5. LOL!

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time. And yes… Starbucks for sure! But tea for me! And maybe a brownie from Panera Bread. 🙂

  23. Jeff Greene May 21, 2011 at 2:19 am #

    Tip 2 is just what I needed to hear. Glad I stopped by.

  24. Sherrie Petersen May 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    I love conferences. I go for inspiration and to catch up with friends 🙂

  25. Leigh Moore May 23, 2011 at 3:48 am #

    Yes. You’re so right–this community does totally rock. And I’m hearing and hearing “do the work” and it’s killing me. I SO want to do the work… #ahhlife!

    And superjealous of all my conference attending friends. I want to go so badly~ :o)

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!!! <3

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