Posted by: Kerry Gans | June 5, 2011

Confessions of a Conference Virgin: Day 3 of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference

Today was the final day of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. I started it off by getting lost on the way in, but I still made it on time.

I also found that a friend and colleague of mine, James S. Kempner, had taken 3 different prizes in the PWC contests—one a first prize! Congrats to Jim!

This morning kicked off with a 1-day workshop by author and editor Kathryn Craft, who enlightened us with 13 Tips and Tricks for better writing. I wanted to whip out my manuscript right there and start applying them—they are a sure way to improve your writing.

Then on to the final day of author Kelly Simmon’s Novel: Plot workshop. Her 7 Cs checklist gives a comprehensive yet manageable way to approach plot, particularly if you are not a natural outliner. I’m a partial outliner myself, and can easily see that incorporating her ideas will help me improve my novel before I ever write a word of it.

After lunch, author Gregory Frost wrapped up his advice on Novel: Character. After a review of simplex, complex, and multiplex characters, we created a character from scratch. While we rendered a rather hilarious persona and the ghost that haunts him, the exercise showed us the basic steps to creating a multi-dimensional character with enough room to grow throughout your novel.

In the YA workshop with author Catherine Stine, she spoke about how to find agents and editors, and shared some of her experiences with agents. We also practiced our 3-sentence elevator pitches and discussed the competing yet very similar merits of writing programs Scrivener (about $50) versus yWriter (free).

My mind was far too fried to stay for the closing panel, but I’m certain it will be as informative as the rest of the conference. I’m thinking I should book my reservations for next year!

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Responses

  1. Glad you enjoyed it. But both Kelly Simmons and Kathryn Craft have spoken to the Brandywine Valley Writers Group in West Chester this year. You could have heard them speak for free, in a restaurant that serves good beer!

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    • Good to know, Tony! But Brandywine is a long way from NJ – and I don’t drink! 🙂 But anyone closer to your area should definitely check you guys out – you always have a tremendous lineup of speakers. If I’m ever in the area when you’re meeting, I will definitely stop by.

      Like


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