Genre LA ended yesterday. It was the 30th conference put on by West Coast Writers Conferences. Being virtual, it started Friday, October 22nd, and ran through Saturday, October 30th. On the weekends it was a full day of programming. On the weekdays it started at 5:00 pm and ran until about 8:30 pm.
One change they made that I appreciated was that the weekdays were themed:
Tuesday: Speculative Fiction and Fantasy
Wednesday: Historical Fiction
My steampunk trilogy has suspense and thrills, so that was valuable. Speculative Fiction and Fantasy, well, that’s just me all over. I may be writing steampunk right now, but I have a lot of science fiction stories in me, and maybe one or two fantasy stories. Steampunk kind of ties into historical fiction, but those are really stories that take place around historical events without changing anything. With steampunk, I change a lot of things, particularly when things get invented like airships, diesel engines, electricity in homes and even penicillin. I’m not doing a memoir or autobiography, so I skipped that day. And there are elements of Y/A and coming-of-age in my story.
Tony N. Todaro, the president of WCWC, is always looking to present new topics to the conferences. This time he had several.
“Writing a synopsis is Notoriously Hard (and Ways to do it Right)”. It is hard to condense your 100,000-word novel or 120-page script down to a one-sentence logline or three paragraphs in a query letter. Speaker Nic Nelson gave some good tips.
‘Writing for Healing: Coping with Pain, Grief, and Loss”. I didn’t attend this panel myself, but I understand it was very popular.
“Learn to Write Better Dialog for Your Novel by Drafting a Screenplay”. Now that’s an interesting exercise because screen dialogue has to be crisp and to the point. I write everything as a screenplay first, so I’m already doing this.
“Building a Marvelous, Believable Magic System”. Like one of the speakers, C. R. Rowenson said, you can find lots of books on developing plot, characters, dialogue, but there is very little on this bit of world-building.
“Illustrating Children’s Books”. Not my thing, but a new topic non the less. And we have had various children’s authors speak at these conferences like Sheri Kent.
“Writing for the Christian Markets”. This is a section of the literary market we hadn’t discussed before. As a Christian, I do have some Ideas for Christian science fiction down the line. And it isn’t just what you would consider “Christian” books, but also Christian-friendly books in various genres.
The complete list of panels is still up on http://www.wcwriters.com/genrela/program.html
The next conference, Creative Writing Conference, will be held March 4th through 6th. It is scheduled to be an in-person event at the Hilton Hotel in Culver City, CA. I can’t wait to get back to actually seeing people and networking.
Dennis Amador Cherry
85th blog completed.
First Steampunk novel: 72,197 words.
First Steampunk screenplay: Need to update with notes from the novelization.
Second Steampunk screenplay: 126 pages
Second Steampunk novel: 0 words.
Third Steampunk screenplay: 38 pages.