Monday, September 20, 2010

I don’t do detail

I was advised recently that I needed to do more world building; that I needed to let myself go, let the words flow and build pictures; all those sensory things that I’m told will draw the reader into the story.

It’s not the first time I’ve been told this. The wonderful Melissa James reviewed some of my work a while back and said the same thing.

So I am about to start revising my latest work and add some detail.

Trouble is, when it comes to detail, I always err of the side of not too much; mostly because I personally don’t read the detail in books. Whenever a paragraph starts with: ‘The house was...’, The landscape seemed...’, His hair was...’, I skip it. My interest is in the character; what they do next, what they feel, why they feel it. Where they are when they’re feeling it hardly matters to me.

So this is my dilemma. I don’t like the detail, so I don’t want to inflict it on my readers.

Does anyone else struggle with this? Or maybe you love the detail. Do tell. And any hints on where I can read more about this.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bootcampers pay it forward

For the last few years now, RWA has recognised the need for an ‘alternative’ to the annual conference; something online for those not able to attend the capital city event. (Yep, we get to participate any  here and any way we can.)

Coordinated by volunteers, the 2010 Clayton’s Conference, with Sandie Hudson at the helm (again),was an all-Bootcamp affair with Suzanne Hamilton and me - Jenn J McLeod - signing on to help out over the three-days and nights. All three agree it was a great way to pay forward to other writers after what RWA Bootcamp has done for them.

With guests from both Australia and overseas speaking on a variety of topics, it was a truly global experience for the thirty-five registered attendees - many of them new to online events.

From an agenda jam-packed with everything writerly, as well as our own awards night (requiring dress-up PJs) and conference goodie bags, the feedback from this year’s event clearly shows Claytons can be every bit as rewarding and fun as ‘the other conference.’ (No longer is it to be referred to as ‘the real conference’. (Our attendees even came up with their own slogan - “Clayton’s Conference - Keeping it Real”.)

With a chock-a-block agenda that included six tough writing challenges over the three days, organisers were amazed at the level and quality of participation.

We got to write - a lot - both seriously and just for fun with Fracture Fairytales and Ludicrous Plots contests, made our own book trailers, designed book covers, grilled our guest speakers, shared ideas AND we were invited to pitch to e-publisher Noble Romance, with several authors asked to provide full manuscripts and contracts offered.

This post is a Clayton's wrap-up (the wrap-up you have when it's not really wrapped up!) because the camaraderie continues with the 2010 Clayton’s attendees establishing their own online networking group. So Claytons 2010 will live on, just as our belief in our dreams will live on.

Special thanks to the Executive Committee of Romance Writers of Australia for recognising the need for an online conference experience for its member and for supporting the Clayton's Conference concept and growth.

If you would like more information about the 2010 RWA Clayton’s Conference, you can find out more on theRWA website or RWA Blog (including a link to our final report listing all our guest speakers, sponsors, our winners, attendee feedback and our 2010 agenda.)

Watch out next year for the 2011 extravaganza and you'll never feel lonely at conference time again.