Back to school

Back to school

My education as a writer continues with the California Creative Writer’s Conference   this weekend and through the week.  This conference, like the last, is virtually done via Zoom.  So far there have been two full days of panels, too much to describe here.  Not to mention my brain is on overload and I have to go back to work tomorrow, but here are some of the highlights:

The conferences always look to present new topics and this time GOAL SETTING FOR WRITERS was one of them.  Presented by Debra Eckerling, the author of, “Your Goal Guide”, was specifically about how to get the most out of the conference.  What is your goal for the conference?  To meet people?  To lean things?  It all goes back to your mission, which is a key point in, “Your Goal Guide”.

THE ART OF THE VISUAL PITCH, presented by Deborah Pratt, executive producer and head writer of “Quantum Leap”, was about Netflix’s guidelines for pitching a series, but it can also relate to other streaming services and networks.

PLEASE, PLEASE ME, presented by GLAWS vice president Nic Nelson, was about giving your audience what they want.  The blurb on the back cover of a book makes a promise to the potential reader, then you have to fulfill that promise by delivering the emotional experience you said you would give them.

SPRING-BOARDING IDEAS:  HOW TO JUMPSTART YOUR WRITING PROJECTS was presented by authors Chrome Oxide, Neil V. Young, Kim O’Hara and Michael Tabe.  It covered everything from where you get your ideas, developing an idea into a story and developing plot and characters.

SETTING IS NOT JUST A PLACE, presented by authors Wendy Kendall and Erica Miner, covered how the setting can affect your character, conflicts and the mood of your story, but is often underused.

HOW FAR IS YOUR FUTURE, presented by Dr. Howard Hendrex, was an in-depth discussion of the differences between stories set in the near future, mid-future and far future.

This is just a sample of the panels at the conference, there have been 15 so far, along with a social networking gather and a read and critique session.

The next conference, The Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Conference in August, is scheduled to be an in-person conference again.

Dennis Amador Cherry


103st blog completed.

First Steampunk novel:  72,191 words.

First Steampunk screenplay:  Need to update with notes from the novelization.

Second Steampunk screenplay:  174 pages.

Second Steampunk novel: 0 words.

Third Steampunk screenplay:  38 pages.

I finished another book.  I finished it on March 3rd, so I’m three days late on my goal, but I read it!

Okay, so I cheated.  It’s not the book I intended to read for February.  It’s a short book (60 pages) my fellowship group at church, Cast and Crew, will be going through.  But at least I finished another book.  That’s still two books better than last year.

2 Comments on “Back to school

  1. Hey Dennis, I just discovered your blog! It’s great!
    I love the way you’re keeping folks up to date on your writing progress. I may do something similar next year. (Of course, I would need to start blogging again, but that’s another thing I might do next year.)

    Also, about this book, Art for God’s Sake: I would love to hear more of your thoughts about it. Is it something I ought to read? (And if so, would it be okay if I borrowed it from you?)
    (…when I borrow a book from a friend, it is much more likely that I’ll read it within a reasonable time so that I can return it! 😉

    • Hi Nic, thanks for the comment. I update my writing progress as a way to keep myself accountable. Not only in my writing, but in all my goals for the year. I’ll be doing a goal review this Sunday. As for the book, “Art for God’s Sake”, it’s a quick ready, but interesting. I was surprised to read that a lot of churches find art frivolous if it’s not hymns or paintings or sculptures for the church. But the Lord gives us all sorts of talents. And if we’re gifted in an art, why not use it? I’d be glad to loan it to you. Are you going to be at LATFoB?

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