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<== Click to receive a free copy of my short story Crystal Servants and learn about some of the major players in Crystal Kings, my upcoming novel due out October 17th.

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.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 Day 1

It took a few texts and wandering around before all the passes were in the right hands to get in to set up the Xchyler Publishing author's table. (Not an official table for the publisher, but a bunch of their authors getting together since we're mostly locals.)

Here's Jay Barnson manning our table, photobombing himself.
We were next to the Curiosity Quills and Space Balrogs folks, so we had several book-laden tables in a row. I was able to get away from the table for a few panel discussions, which is always fun. I was rushing from one thing to another, so I didn't get as much time to talk to people as I would like.

Writing Advice: The Good, The Bad & The Very Ugly
It was fun to hear several people describe the best and worst writing advise they've received. Michaelbrent Collings is a strict and disciplined moderator, and helped things move along smoothly. One thing in particular which came out is that any time someone expresses an opinion on how to write with "always" or "never" they are most likely wrong.

Outlining Vs. Discovery Writing
Outline vs. Discovery is also known as Plotter vs. Pantser. Do you outline everything, or do you write by the seat of your pants? It turns out that it's more of a broad spectrum with those two cases being the extremes. Professional authors tend to do more plotting since they have deadlines and schedules, and need to be able to write to deadlines. Newer authors tend to do more free-form writing. Neither is an absolute though, and everyone tends to do a mix of some kind.

Creating Horror: How to Scare the Crap out of People
I'm writing a short horror story, so I figured I'd spend some time listening to successful scary story writers. Michaelbrent Collings is a complete loose cannon when not moderating, and is loads of fun to listen to. :) You tend to need to write about what scares you personally, and to broaden it out from there to take in the fears of more than just yourself. Most of these authors claim a Stephen King book as the scariest they've ever read, but I don't think they doubled up on any single book.

Writing a Book Series
Dave Farland (AKA Dave Wolverton) moderated this one. Writing and pitching books as a series can save a lot of time once you've built a reputation up to where you can approach agents and publishers that way. If you have the reputation for dependability, a series can keep you going on a project for a lot longer than single books can. It's not quite so good as a first entry out of the chute if you're a new author, just because it's hard for a publisher to trust someone that's an unknown.

Now I'm looking forward to Friday and Saturday. Today I forgot to take a notebook so I had to run from memories jogged by my pictures. Tomorrow will be better.

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