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Adrian, a spy for the King, sees a nobleman murder a servant. His desire for truth is pitted against the dangers of a high-stakes political game. When his friend Draken insists on pursuing justice, Adrian must protect those he cares about as the political games of powerful men alter the lives of everyone around him.

Friday, May 22, 2015

CONduit day one report

Larry Nemecek
Star Trek Voyager

Larry talked about his experience helping with Star Trek, particularly emphasizing Voyager. He's got a lot of fun stories and photos from sets, filming, and stuff like that. This wasn't a heavy notes-taking session since it was mostly Larry showing us cool stuff he's worked on and telling us stories about people.

Aaron Lee Yeager, Chris Husburg
Shot Through the Heart (Writing Romance)

I'm not a romance writer, but quite a few stories have some significant element that depends upon romance. With this being a Friday afternoon session, we started with only 4 attendees, and may have ended up around 6 or 8 at the end so it was lots of fun to have a back-and-forth conversation with Aaron and Chris.

They talked about how you can use friendship, loyalty or passion as lead-ins to a budding romance. They also discussed how to make a reader want them to be together, and how to make them complimentary characters who, when taken together, make a cohesive whole.

You also need to make those characters funny, sympathetic, or otherwise appealing, or readers just won't care what happens to them.

It's helpful to have characters who want one thing, and need another. This plays well into the relationship issues characters face.

Brook West, Ann Sharp, Aaron Lee Yeager
New Ways to Learn Everything Under the Sun

You hear the saying "Write what you know" a lot. This isn't meant to limit you, so long as you're willing to do your research. That way you know more, and can write about it. Just don't consider yourself an expert after five wiki pages.

There are ivy league schools and others with courses online. Brandon Sanderson's got a course he taught at BYU online, available for free. There are consultants ready, willing and able to help if you just take the time to ask. That way, you can get the finer details right, and not ruin a story for those who happen to have the expertise that gets faked when you write.

The trick it to use real, vetted experts. Don't use self-proclaimed experts or entry-level hobbyists because it will be clear that you took shortcuts to those who know better.

Aaron told us that he's got some stuff in the Amazon Kindle store free this weekend in honor of CONduit. I picked up "Heart of a Traitor" to see how I like his writing.

Jane Lindskold and the crew from HMS Jonas Adcock
Worlds of David Weber

There's a local costuming group for the Royal Navy of Manticore, and several of them showed up. Jane is a co-author and good friend of David Weber. Between them they talked a lot about what the draw is to the works they talked about. For some it is the military. For others it's politics. Some like the long-game machinations, or how characters interact with family. In some books, it's neat how David Weber thinks through to the possible conclusions of particular technologies.

Jane Lindskold handed out swag, and I picked up a copy of "A Call to Duty" by David Weber and Tmothy Zahn, which is book 1 of the Manticore Ascendant series.

Jane Lindskold, Jo Schneider, Jonny Worthen, Holli Anderson, Callie Stoker
YA Fantasy - We're Still 14 at Heart

This was a wide-ranging view of not just YA writing, but some of the things that differentiate various age targets, For mid-grade, you typically want the young kids to ahve some adult to turn to who can be their mentor. The early Harry Potter books show this mentor effect. For YA, the older kids have to fix their own problems. This is what the later Harry Potter books do.

Jane Lindskold referenced Diana Wynne Jones' book The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: The Essential Guide to Fantasy Travel as a fun resource on some of the tropes involved with YA fantasy, and how fantasy in general is sometimes poorly written.

Ice Cream Social

I spent a while talking with Jane Lindskold, and with David Doering, which was fun. Sorry, I forgot to get pics at the social.

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