What We Learned at Westercon 70

Westercon is the annual  regional (Western US) science fiction / fantasy convention. It took place over the 4th of July weekend in Tempe AZ, and I was there for the whole damn thing.

Usually,  I attend panels, and attend many directly relevant to writing and marketing. This time I was called upon to moderate a bunch of panels, so I am limited to what I was assigned, and I took fewer notes because I have to look like I am listening.

Jenn Czep on writing fight scenes: “You need to find the quickest point between noun and verb. ”

Maya Bonhoff adds, “Set up all your exposition before the fight starts. You don’t want to pull the reader out with surprises.”

Sharon Skinner on self editing, “You must trust your process or nothing will get done.”

TL Smith and Deena Remiel talked about branding, and the best way to learn is to look at their sites.

I had five panelists in a future of the genre type segment, and I do not know which of them said, “We are no longer just writing books. We are contributing to a fiction delivery system.”

The panelists were, collectively, bullish on science fiction.

Good links for new authors:

A shorter fiction market resource: Ralan.com

Not mentioned but a similar resource: Duotrope.

Freebooksy is a mailing list that sends its readers links to free or discounted e-books, and produces great exposure in the process. Be warned though, that their editorial selection process is akin to a major house slush pile.

Bookbub also operates on similar principles.

Finally, what every author on every panel will always tell you: the first step is always writing a good book.

 

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