Every year I attend a writing conference in Calgary called “When Words Collide”. Every year I have an absolutely supreme time, and this year I thought I’d share some of what I learned with the internet at large.
1) Desire + Obstacle = Conflict
This should be common sense, but I had never heard the question of conflict explained in such a way before! Thanks to Anna Maria Bortolotto for this lesson!
2) It pays to be friendly
Especially at a writer’s conference. I guarantee that literally everyone there has one thing in common: they like to read. I guess if that fails, you can always talk about the weather.
It also pays to be friendly in marketing–give first. Your mom was right, you catch more flies with free bookmarks than with vinegar.
3) There’s a lot more to editing than finding new ways to tell people that they suck.
I’m still convinced that “dental draft” is a euphemism for something.
4) No one can agree on whether or not digital publishing is a good thing.
5) Editors really like in medias res.
6) You don’t always get rejected because you’re crap. Editors are actually pretty nice people. Mostly.
7) The cake isn’t a lie, but the chocolate might be
This one is a bit of a story: there was supposed to be a chocolate social on Saturday night of the conference. My gaggle of pals and I waited for about 2 hours. No chocolate. It was all a lie.
They did let us have leftover cake from the banquet, so the cake? All truth.