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March 30, 2013

I’m writing this from my hotel room at Norwescon.


Norwescon is a Seattle convention, which means it takes place about forty minutes away from my apartment. But staying at the hotel a con takes place at is a very different experience than having to commute, and it’s an opportunity I jump at whenever it crops up. I’m sharing a room with friend, coworker, and fellow writer Angel Leigh McCoy, who has been invaluable to me as a mentor and supporter. She is also extremely talented, and I often look to her for guidance with my own work and my writing career. Sharing a room with her is also like having a slumber party with a good friend. We stayed up late last night playing card games and talking about writing and life and giggling about stupid stuff.


By the way, to get to our hotel room from the hotel lobby, we have to walk down a hallway, cross a skybridge, go up an elevator, cross another skybridge, walk down another hallway, over the mountain, through the woods, and so on and so forth. This hotel is labyrinthine. I keep expecting to round a corner and find myself covered in glitter and standing outside the goblin king’s castle.


Norwescon is a sci fi & fantasy con, but my particular interest in it is that it has a lot of wonderful resources for writers. I’ve been wanting to attend it for years, and this is the first time I’ve had the chance to go. There are panels on outlining, on adding historical details to your novel, on publishing, on pacing, on alien exobiology, and on anything you can think of that has to do with writing.
I wasn’t sure how helpful these panels would be, to be honest. But the weekend’s not over yet, and so far:


  1. I’ve been presented with great resources for building the languages in my fantasy novel
  2. I’ve realized the major problems with the first draft of my fantasy novel, problems that I have known existed but not known how to tackle, and finally been able to figure out how to fix them. I have drastically changed the feel and the pacing of the first draft, and come up with a complete outline for the second draft—something I’ve been stuck on for literally years.
  3. Gone over the above outline with a fellow writer who pointed out some mistakes I’d already made—that the first four planned chapters can be cut completely.
  4. Met a number of awesome people.
  5. Learned about what I would need to do an audio version of one of my works.
  6. Figured out what I need to do to fix my novella and uncovered a few places I could shop it to for potential publication.
  7. Figured out that it would be very useful for me to have a world-building almanac for my fantasy novel that is separate from the novel itself, something I can use as a reference without feeling like I need to actually put all of those details into my story.
  8. Got to (briefly) see Clinton J. Boomer, who is an incredible person. I’ve been following his writing career ever since I became aware of him through working at Paizo Publishing.
  9. Uncovered a potential publishing opportunity for my new collaborative project, which I have been working diligently on but have not been ready to completely announce yet. Watch this space.
  10. Made some big progress on that unnamed project from item #8.


In other news, the horror anthology that has accepted one of my short stories looks like it will be out in May. More information to come.


From → General Advice

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