I attended Write on the River Writer's Conference this past weekend. It was fun to hang out with old friends and make some new ones while we all learned about the craft and business of writing.
That, my friends, is why you should attend writer's conferences if you want to be a writer. Even if you've never been published, or even if you've never really finished a story, if you want to learn how to be a better writer, the classes at these conferences are wonderful for all levels of writers.
I learned how to bump up my story by fleshing out the active plot, the crunchy bit of my story, and beefing up the emotional plotline, the chewy bit. The author presenting had some great ideas on how to get the two to work together to make a much more compelling and powerful story. This is something I need to apply to Shadow Nothings and to Winterqueen's War. I'm excited to edit them, now. I have a much better idea how to fix the issues with them both.
On the business side of things, there were great classes on marketing and publishing and pitching to agents and publishers. Loads of wonderful tips and ideas to help writers reach the next stage of success in their careers.
Speaking of success and careers, there were also great classes about why we write and how we define success. For me, I will probably never be rich or famous at this, and that's okay. I write because I enjoy telling stories and creating new worlds and making things up. I write because I want to fly a spaceship across the galaxy and ride unicorns into battle and cast magic spells that transport me to other worlds. I publish because I want to share those stories with people who also want to do those things.
Conferences are not good places to find readers for your work, but they are great places to network, to make connections to other people who share your passion and interest in writing. Write on the River has members all ages, from high school to long past retirement; and authors in all genres. It was a great conference. Hats off and a big thank you to the volunteers who made it possible.