The plan was simple: Sit and observe. Little did I know that I would meet some amazing people, take risks and leave with a new outlook on writing when attending The Philadelphia Writers Conference. There are two things that most people I’m close to know about me.
I find talking exhausting. It takes a lot for me to really warm up to someone and most of the time I just give off a nervous, uninterested or uncomfortable vibe. Most of the time I prefer to be alone and after this conference some time at home in the corner of my couch sounds like a very lovely vacation.
My confidence in my writing abilities is lacking. I know this may come as a shock but I don’t like talking about my work. It’s not that I don’t think my writing is terrible but I’m constantly in the state of mind that I’m bragging.
“Your piece is the modern day A Raisin in the Sun and Our Town.”
Attending this conference gave me the boost of confidence I needed. I mean, the scenes in my manuscript were compared to A Raisin in the Son by Lorraine Hansberry and Our Town by Thornton Wilder. How awesome is that?! Unfortunately, my face went into this weird state of shock where I couldn’t find the words to squeeze out a thank you. Instead, I just had this dorkish smile on my face and my heart knew how stupid I looked but there was a miscommunication with my brain which kept replaying the compliment over and over again. Not one of my finest moments but still, how awesome is that?!
Also, I pitched a novel idea I’ve been working on in hopes of finding out if an agent would find it interesting. Success! Now I just have to write it and maybe you’ll be seeing glimpses of it on here.
Fun Fact: Using Pinterest for inspiration while working on a short story or novel is an excellent way to find pictures to help with descriptions. I was browsing through pictures focused on the 1920s last night and now have a board dedicated to my novel in progress. I’m talking about book cover idea, characters, setting and outfits! Also, gaining experience with any type of social media will help in the long run when it comes to job hunting and adding skills to my resume.
As I sit on my little corner and think about the last three days at the conference, I remember all the discussions that focused around writing and the joy of finding someone who shares a love for Mass Effect and Dragon Age amongst all the discussions of plot, character development and whether or not people need a MFA in order to be a successful writer (I believe you can be a success whether you have a degree or not it just depends on how much drive you have in order to be successful). Don’t get me wrong, I did observe and noticed a lot of my fellow writers had business cards, copies of their manuscripts and a lot of writing devices. The most spectacular thing about it all was the different story ideas that were exchanged. I won’t share any on here because that would be disrespectful to the author but hearing how different members of the writing community are working within their genre to create some amazing works just makes me excited to get to work on my own creations.
I don’t know what this blog will turn into or when I’ll be ready to release what I’ve written on here on Facebook and Twitter but I find the Philadelphia Writers Conference to be a nice opener for my new creation. Fox with Quill will explore my writing journey (along with some deviations to rant about Mass Effect and Dragon Age). And now, to end this first post I’ll relay three more tips I picked up at the conference.
One: “Memory is the Surest Guide to the Memorable.” Picked up this little goodie from The Book Architecture Method lecture given by Stuart Horwitz. Very entertaining speaker and there were visuals! Though the most important thing I took away from it is if you make a list of scenes from your novel from memory, make a note of which ones you didn’t remember. They probably don’t have the same impact as the ones you do remember. Really makes me wonder why I craft my scenes. Is it for the reader or myself? Are some of my scenes just placeholders until I can come up with something better? Gotta love any method dealing with a list, really makes you think about what’s important.
Two: Ghosts don’t need to be in every story, a running gag in my Writing the Novel Workshop with Solomon Jones. Crafting characters in important, listing how the time period effects the technological devices they can use, clothes they are wearing and what events may have impacted their lives. However, ghosts don’t need to be in every story whether drug induced or the one haunting the main characters apartment.
Three: Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Like I said, talking exhausts me but there is no way around it especially if you want to find a writing community. I am now a part of one filled with fantasy writers and am not sure I fully explained that my focus (for now anyway) is short stories with a flair of historical fiction. But you know what? I couldn’t be happier because now I’m a part of something, a group of fellow writers where we can share ideas, test out query letters and share in our successes with one another. Hello! I created a blog right after leaving! I would call that a pretty spectacular attempt at putting myself out there.
Now to truly end this first post here is my photo of the day for the #amwritingchallenge: What you eat while writing.
Nothing like a couple of strawberry twisters to get the creative juices flowing!!!