Thursday, August 15, 2013

Learning from Day One of WriteOnCon 2013

I spent the past couple of days being distracted from revising by WriteOnCon 2013. This is a fabulous, free (though you can contribute in appreciation) online writing conference. Their forums are a great place to see the kinds of stories other people are writing and to get some feedback on your own queries and story beginnings.
There were also LOTS of awesome articles about different aspects of the writing process. Here are a few of my favourite snippets from Day 1:

Author Liesl Shurtliff: “The very best books take plot and character and work them together in order to build the most resonant stories.”

How Character and Plot Work Together by Liesl Shurtliff, WriteOnCon 2013

I could really connect to Liesl’s point that it’s hard to separate plot and character sometimes. Especially in the middle of my current revision, where it’s so hard to go backwards from what I wrote before and restructure. So it was heartening to hear that developing plot and character together could result in a stronger novel.

Author Loretta Nyhan: Don’t fear the weirdness inside you. It’s why people love you, and why they’ll love your characters.
We’ve All Got it Goin’ On…Writing Realistic Characters by Loretta Nyhan, WriteOnCon 2013

One of the goals I have is to make my writing stand out, to create that special story that’s a little different from what’s already out there. Loretta emphasizes how that uniqueness comes from inside you and not to be afraid to let it into your story.

Literary Agent Peter Knapp: “And when you write a great novel, you don’t merely show what courage looks like but allow the readers to experience it.”
Courage and Kit Lit by Peter Knapp, WriteOnCon 2013

Peter’s post reminded me about how brave kids and teens really are – how they forge ahead and sometimes fail but are brave enough to try things adults might never dream of. It also made me thing about how brave we are as writers, to reach deep inside to our own emotions to try to create a meaningful reading experience for someone else.

Literary Agent Marie Lamba: “…be careful what you promise. The query builds an expectation”
Promises,Promises by Maria Lamba, WriteOnCon 2013

Marie reminds us that a query is really a promise to an agent of what’s to come in the story. She explains why not keeping those promises can lead to rejection.

I also got some great tips on Adding Emotion to your Writing by author Lenore Applehans. There was so much to learn from Day 1, it's hard to believe that there's was even more on Day 2! I’ll post a few highlights from Day 2 tomorrow.


  1. Great quotes from some of the presentations/posts! I love this conference~ this is a great round-up (I loved Liesl's post as well!).

    1. There is a lot packed into the two days of this conference, for sure!

  2. Thanks so much for your overview. I totally missed WriteOnCon this year but I love that you can still catch up on everything.

    I will be checking all these links out. :)

    1. Isn't it great that it's online? It's so nice to be able to access the information when you have time.

  3. Great summary! I haven't read through all the articles yet, but I really liked the ones on editing tips, creating your character's class schedule to further develop the character, and writing diverse characters.

  4. All the editing tips were awesome, weren't they? I liked that class schedule post too. It really gives you a lot of ideas for rounding out a character.


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