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ChessieCon Day Two Wrap-up

Today (well, technically yesterday since it’s 0001 by my computer’s clock), was day two of ChessieCon. Let’s see how things went.

Sat in on a panel called “How Not To Get Published” (Hmm, that sounds familiar). Three writers and one editor discussing how to write good queries, how to be gracious about edits, how to (and how not to) respond to reviews, how important deadlines were, and basically how to avoid being “that author” who is a pain in the neck to work with. It was interesting seeing the view through someone else’s eyes and while it didn’t overlap much with my Writer Beware panel, there was some useful information there.

My reading went pretty well at 11. I read the opening scene from “Skin the Cat” and after some discussion, I read “The Wisp Hunter”. Two very different stories, but I got some good feedback and hopefully a new reader or two.

The “Maps and Your Story” panel at 12 was entertaining. My other two panelists were quick on their feet and we riffed off of each other rather than having a designated moderator and worked questions from the crowd into our talk. I saw a lot of note taking going on from some of the people who had stated they were working on their own stories, so, I’d like to think the talk was useful.

Did a little shopping and caught lunch before going to the next thing. Sat through the “Fashion in the Future” panel. It was good, but one of the panelists was a little overeager to get their points out, going so far as to talk over the person whom the question was directed toward. The moderator tried to rein them in, but some panelists seem to forget it’s all about putting out information for the audience to use, not making it all about “see how cool I am”.

My last panel was “World Creation: Tips, Techniques, and Pitfalls” at 5pm. Again, there were three of us on the panel and there was no moderator designated, but I think we did a pretty good job at both respecting each others turns to speak, but we were “reasonably” entertaining. There were a few areas about world creation we could have spent some more time on and maybe a few we spent too much time on, but we definitely tried to give out links for good web sites and books they should review when they try to build their own worlds, whether they’re doing cozy murder mysteries, epic fantasy, or gritty urban fantasy.

Also we repeatedly reminded them, research is for the author, the readers want to know about the characters in the story, not the fancy world you created. Don’t try to tell the readers every detail about the world. Let them discover it in the background.

After that, a group of us went out for dinner and I called it a day. I could have probably gone back for a few more panels or a room party or two, but my wife wasn’t feeling 100% and I didn’t want to keep her at the show if she wasn’t going to enjoy it. Quality not quantity applies even to conventions. *grin*

No panels tomorrow, but I’ll probably be going back to hit the art show and the dealer’s room one more time. Then it’s time to start getting ready to do this all over again in 2015.

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

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