When I decided to go to a local convention I had to make some tough choices, the lineup of local talent was so darn good!
Starting the day with how to overcome obstacles with writing, author, Annabel Smith led us through a comprehensive range of strategies that happily proved I was on the right track. Her delightful sense of humour had the large group laughing together at common pitfalls and smiling at suggestions like:
- Timetable your day – not for the faint-hearted, though definitely recommended for the serious writer!
- Beware of social media being a time waster. Of course, there’s research, and there may be a need to learn some platforms as well as write posts, read other writers’ blogs and respond, but the key here is to be selective. Filter out what is not helpful, be ruthless!
- Take time to be your best self – exercise, be healthy, take breaks from writing – be creative with these! Someone suggested hanging out the washing as exercise. I agree!
- Above all, treat writing like a job. Turn up for it, even dress (or not for it) and write!
My next session was with author, Tess Woods. Her Twelve Ingredients All Page Turners Have in Common provided a great range of tips that will keep me on my toes. I took away the following:
- Strong opening – grab the reader’s interest in the first paragraph!
- Strong narrative traction – keep the story moving forward.
- Scenes must have a change from where they start to where they end.
- Minimise filter words.
- Characters – of the many points presented, they must truly live!
Networking over lunch and morning tea was valuable, meeting fellow writers and presenters. I’d go for this alone! Catching up with fellow writers from Natasha Lester’s writers’ retreat earlier this year was beneficial and heartwarming.
After lunch, Karen McDermott founder of Serenity Press led an interview with a panel of some of the authors from Writing the Dream. I was inspired by Guy Salvidge, Natasha Lester, Teena Raffa-Mulligan, Monique Mulligan and Tess Woods. The breadth of answers was as insightful as the publication, which contains numerous tips from contributing authors.
The final session by Alex Adsett What does a literary agent do and do you need one? proved insightful. Once my manuscript is ready for publication I now have excellent guidelines and will hopefully avoid pitfalls.
Takeaway tip: A good agent will not charge fees, only a negotiated commission.
Other sessions I missed out on would have been amazing. Natasha Lester’s Writing Compelling Heroines, Rosanne Dingli’s Marketing Self-published Titles, and several others made my choices challenging!
An event full of local talent – not to miss! I’ve already added the Rockingham Writers’ Convention to my calendar for 2018.