Home from FenCon, or Back to Juggling ChainSaws

So a quick summary of FenCon. The con went well, and as far as I can tell, with one exception came off very smoothly. I sat on 4 panels, of which I’ll sum up my thoughts below.

1) When Action Gets in the Way of the Story:
Basically, try to make sure that you’re not going overboard in any kind of action scene, whether it’s a sword fight, a car chase, or a sex scene. If there’s not some sort of character development or plot advancement going on in the action, then why is it there?

2) Blog-a-matic
I don’t know that we had a major statement, but my thought was: Once you hit enter, it’s out there. Don’t count on ‘privacy settings’ or ‘forum honor systems’ to keep your words private. Those can always fail. Think before you type, please.

3) Babylon 5
We liked Babylon 5. What else is there to say?

4) Revision Indecision
Every writer has a different process, but the editors are trying to help your work be more marketable, and therefore are worth hearing out.

I had lunch with Michelle Muenzler after that last panel, and one of the things that we discussed is those writers who resist editing because they see their writing as their babies. I tend to think that people who want to be published in traditional markets really have to think of their works as products, not children.

It’s like a cake at a bakery. It’s a product. You finish it and you send it out into the world. You don’t keep refrosting the cake over and over and over, pull it off the shelf because the lettering isn’t quite right and redo all the lettering, take off all the frosting and try again. You put the cake on the shelf and go in the back and start baking another cake.

And I’ve started looking at my Con Schedule for next year. I’ll probably add ConDFW, but after talking to the person who was arranging a workshop for RT, I learned that we didn’t get picked up, so I’m not going there next year. (So $$$$ if I’m not presenting.)

So I plan to do: ConDFW, Conquest (maybe), ArmadilloCon, WorldCon, FenCon, and WFC. THat’s the most traveling I’ve ever done in one year. I hope I survive 2014!


7 thoughts on “Home from FenCon, or Back to Juggling ChainSaws

  1. Hi, I’m a friend of Kathy’s. We met at the Chicago Beatle Fest in 2005 and she’s been telling me about your book. I read your above info regarding sending things via internet. I’m in a writer’s group that has been using Meetup which has privacy settings, then we switched to Google Drive. Soon we will be using private emails to send each other stories for critique. Do you think Meetup, Google Drive, and private emails are a problem security wise? I live in Michigan. Will any of your conferences be in the midwest? I have been getting private (paid) critiques from published authors and find it very useful. Do you offer private critiques?

    1. I don’t use any of those platforms, but whenever you involve other people, there’s always a security risk. It only takes one person who gets angry and decides to post your words elsewhere to ruin the implied security of the group. (This is the same thing that young people are learning about sexting…they think that their boyfriend wouldn’t show anyone else, but if the relationship goes bad, then all bets are off.) So sadly enough, I would still say to be cautious about what you say.

      As to the private critigues, no, I don’t. I simply don’t have time. Sorry! I’m not going up to the midwest this year, but one never knows what 2015 looks like! ;o)

      1. Thanks for the reply. Also I suppose if my story was on someone else’s computer and then that computer got a virus my story could be taken away from the computer with the virus.

      2. And I should mention that I’m not actually talking about copyright. It wouldn’t be difficult to prove that the work was yours, given that most forums have ISP info that could show who’d originally posted the material. I’m really just speaking about saying something (for example, about an editor or an agent) and expecting that to remain in confidence….

  2. I saw the picture of your book cover on the give-away table, but never saw you. However, I was at FenCon for Saturday only, so we probably just missed each other.

    There was a Babylon 5 panel? Sorry I missed that, too. One of the vendors had a full collection of the Babylon 5 action figures. He made me a deal and I bought all 16. I have no place to display them right now, but I will find a corner or such somewhere. Maybe I can get one of the cat’s to move out and free up the nook that houses his bed.

    London for WorldCon? I’m envious. I bet you’ll have a great time.

    1. Hi Kyle!

      Yes,,,there were several people that I missed there. Cons are like that.

      The B5 panel was Sunday morning, so you would have missed it. 😦

      Yes, London will be much cooler than Oklahoma in August…

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