Last weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Fyrecon, a cool local convention geared towards writers, readers, artists, and gamers. It was a diamond cave of knowledge and experience, and I’m SO glad I went.
Firstly, I went to a class on Spinning Wheels and Fairy Tales. I learned that the word “spinster” comes from the women in the early 1600s who made a living spinning yarn and selling the fruits of their labor. I also learned they had a rather, erm, unsanitary way of dying flax back in ye olden days (they peed on it). I’ll need to harvest all the useful information I got in that class on how spinning wheels work into a fairy tale retelling someday. Very, very interesting, and I really enjoyed it!
The other class worth mentioning was the screenwriting class co-taught by none other than “Galaxy Quest” screenplay writer David Howard, and screenwriter/Fan-X guru Blake Casselman.
I can’t even begin to scratch the surface of the powerful gems I excavated in that two-hour class, so instead, here are a few great takeaways I had, which can apply to all writers:
- Good scripts/manuscripts express so much with so little.
- Conflict is what drives interest.
- Inner workings of characters should be inwardly expressed outwardly (another way of show vs. tell).
- Your “all is lost” moment, when the central character is as far away as possible from achieving his or her goal, needs to be powerful.
One thing I did learn about during this convention was that a writer’s attitude is a little thing which can make a big difference. I saw great, successful, rich authors who were entirely unassuming and down-to-earth, and I saw lots of people who tooted their own horns and tended to speak negatively about how hard it is to be an author. Hand-in-hand with having recently read The Secret, I have to add my two cents in here that having negative thoughts when you’ve been fortunate enough to write, finish, and publish a book (regardless it’s self-published or with a big 5 house), is nothing but a recipe for disaster.
No matter how bad it gets, start each day with a fresh pair of eyes and a positive attitude. Positive thoughts create positive things, and your energy will reflect in your writing, as well as on other people. It’s important to stay clear and focused when problems arise, have a positive attitude, and to project that positive attitude in everything you do. Don’t speak negatively. Adversity and opposition dies down – lasting impressions from how you handle it never do.
I can’t wait to go back to Fyrecon next year, and I’d love to teach a few classes on a healthy mindset, self-editing, and writing in a deeper POV.
Stay tuned to my social media and posts; Astraeus releases this autumn with Covey Publishing, and I am currently writing the sequel. I can’t wait to share the book with the world!