Friday, April 23, 2010

Writer's conference fun!

Today I've been at the Marriot at a conference in Provo. This is the seventh year for the LDStorymaker's writer's conference, and it's by far the largest ever, topping off over 450 attendees! I love conferences because not only do I get to learn more about my craft, focus on the problems in my writing and learn new things about publicity, but I get to visit with friends. Lots of friends. And make tons of new ones. And since this conference is 200 people larger than last year, there are oodles of new people to meet.

Writers are a funny lot. We spend hours researching odd topics, discuss situations, and get jealous when we find out someone has a chance to attend specialized classes like S.W.A.T. training. At lunch I was sitting with a bunch of ladies I either didn't know, or had only briefly met before. Three particular women were seated together and talking about someone. Now, I hadn't really been paying attention to their chatter, but I knew that they had co-written several books together, so I turned to them and asked--are you talking about a real person, or one of your characters. I shouldn't have bothered--of course they were talking about someone they had made up.

When you meet people in other ways the typical question would include what one does for a living, how many kids, they have, etc. The most common first question at the conference today among people meeting for the first time seemed to be "What genre do you write?" Real jobs and kids came way later in the conversation, if ever.

And can I just say how fabulous it is to go to a conference where a fantasy writer actually comes out and says that our writing needs to uplift, to teach and lead others to live better lives--even if that teaching takes place subtly, in a way that can't be considered preachy? Nowhere else could he say that, and it's unlikely that it would have been received with complete agreement anywhere else.

I love conferences!


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Cheri Chesley said...

I'm so sad that I couldn't stay the whole weekend, but honestly I doubt I could have survived Saturday. As it was I spent the day on my couch heavily medicated. :(

Heather Justesen said...

I wish I'd had a chance to talk to you. Sorry you were feeling so crudy!