Wow! Right now I am soooo excited! Okay, actually it’s more like I am coming down from an exciting high.
All right, I’ll tell ya.
I just spent the past several days at a Christian writer’s conference!!!!!! Wahoo!!!
It was the first of its kind that I have ever attended and I am really glad that I did. My expectations were pretty much shot out of the water. And, there wasn’t just writing stuff involved. Hehehe!
Long story short, I really think that everyone who is able should attend a conference like it. I know it’s not possible for everyone due to finance and schedule issues, but if you have the opportunity, please do it!
Lessons I Learned
When I went to the conference, my learning didn’t start just upon arriving at the conference center. On the plane ride over, I met a young woman who had firsthand experience with autistic children and she was able to help me with one of my characters in one of my stories who happens to be autistic. So, that was pretty awesome!
One of the biggest lessons I learned at the conference was setting the scene early. I’m not talking about opening with geography and weather. In fact, that last bit was considered kind of a no-no. What they meant was that readers often have a preconceived notion about the setting when they first start reading. If the setting is not established earlier, then changing the reader’s idea of the setting will be difficult if not impossible and could turn the reader off continuing your book. Instead, it is best to integrate aspects of the setting earlier in the first page to help paint a picture in the reader’s head. Keep in mind that painting the setting isn’t just for the beginning either, but throughout the entire story.
Fun I Had
On the Sunday I was there, I got up at about 5:30 in the morning to go on a 6:00 AM hike to a cross up on the hill. Though the hike was somewhat painful, the view was gorgeous. There were even turkeys crying out the entire way there. On the way back they stood in the middle of the road. Watching them spread their tail feathers was cool. It was a might chilly and my shoes and socks got wet. Taking some valuable advice, I purchased a new sweater to wear under my jacket and that helped oh soooo much.
One of the days it started raining about three o’clock in the afternoon. It wasn’t a downpour, but more like a steady sprinkle. The smell of the whole area was absolutely divine! There is something about petrichor that is just amazing! My favorite type of weather. 😊
Here’s the best part of the run I had. I went zip lining! That was seriously fun and I am so glad that I did it. The guides even let me go backwards and without hands at one point. You really don’t go as fast as it seems when you’re zipping along. If you ever get the opportunity to go, I highly recommend that you do.
Comparison I Noticed
Something that occurred to me shortly after my zip line adventure, I realized that on the zip line, I was suspended over 100 feet above the forest floor and I was only held in by some cloth and metal. Yes, it was well constructed, but it was still fallible. If I can have faith in something so material and temporary, surely I can have faith in something eternal and sure. Just some food for thought.
In conclusion, the whole event was extremely fun and I am tremendously glad that I went. If I have the opportunity, I will go back. Maybe I will be ready to pitch by then. Who knows? But I am definitely excited! If you get the opportunity, please try and go to one. There’s always somethin’ to learn.
Have you been to a writer’s conference? What was your first conference like?