Yet another reason to be excited about RWA: the Workshop Schedule is up! I'm so excited. As disorganized as I can be about other aspects of my life, I love planning things in advance, so I've already started picking what workshops I might like to see, and what I'll be doing at the conference. Of course, all this is bound to change with or without notice, but hey, if I stick to this even a little, I might get to meet some of you guys there!
Tuesday, July 14th:
I arrive. I eat. I sleep. I don't think I arrive early enough to check out any grand sights, but who knows? Maybe I'll meet someone.
Wednesday, July 15th:
7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
-Today I register! Also, although there are no workshops, I hear it's still pretty busy so I'll try to socialize and glom onto a group so that I don't have to sightsee by myself.
-Also: GOODY ROOM. It's open! I'm SO THERE.
5:30-7:30: Literacy Booksigning! The list of who's attending won't be released until may, but there's bound to be someone there whose work I adore enough to buy all their books and have them signed! For charity, yes, that's it!
8:00-9:00: First Timer's Orientation. This will probably be a good thing - to make sure I'm not totally swamped by all the things to do!
Thursday, July 16th:
8:30-10:15 AM: Opening Session, Featuring Janet Evanovich. I've honestly never read any of her books (although my mum and sister have - and they LOVE her, so I'll take pictures), but I'm not missing the opening session of my first first RWA National Conference!
12:15-2:00 PM: Keynote Luncheon, featuring Linda Howard. Again, not familiar, but who knows what I can learn? Plus - food!
2:00 - 3:00 PM
Hot Vampires, Demon Slayers, and Enchantresses: the Many Flavors of Fantasy (CRAFT)
Speakers: Pati Nagle and Mary Jo Putney
Best-selling, RWA Honor Roll author Mary Jo Putney and fantasy author Pati Nagle discuss the varieties and core fantasies of paranormal romance.
I was to see this one because the novel I'm working on is a fantasy, and this could definitely help me apply my fantasy writing experience to romance (with which I am moderately less experienced).
Backup Workshop (i.e., in case the first one's full):
What Not to Write (CRAFT)
Speakers: Eloisa James and Carrie Feron
New York Times best seller and Barnes & Noble reviewer Eloisa James and her Avon editor share a list of don’ts, covering such topics as genres, writing styles, hooks, plots, and creativity.
Eloisa James! And I can always learn some more "don't"s.
Emotion: the Heart of the Novel (CRAFT)
Speaker: Brenda Novak
Join RWA Honor Roll author Brenda Novak for an in-depth examination of how every aspect of writing relates to heightening reader emotion.
This sounds like something good - I want to convey really tight emotion in my novel - I have a lot of humour and magic, but I'm uncertain as to how to provoke really good emotion.
Backup Workshop: Eh, the other ones in this timeslot aren't quite my cup of tea - so maybe a break or some sight-seeing?
How to Live in Another Century or Just Sound Like You Did (RESEARCH)
Speaker: Lauren Willig
New York Times best-selling author Lauren Willig offers strategies for acquainting yourself with another century’s sights, people, and politics, and how to create the illusion of a specific time period, while maintaining the balance between historical accuracy and demands of the narrative.
YES! I need to learn how to research! The way I'm doing it now (reading, taking notes on index cards) seems so slow and I feel as if I haven't written in ages. I'd love to know if there's a different way to do it.
How Do I Love Thee? Using the Techniques of Poetry to Strengthen Your Prose (CRAFT)
Speaker: Nancy Herkness
Princeton University-trained poet and romance author Nancy Herkness demonstrates how word choice, rhythm, and image control can heighten the emotional and descriptive power of your prose.
Second only to great characters, I love love love beautiful writing, and there are few authors who can manage a beautifully poetic turn of phrase. This could be something really useful.
After this I'm pretty much free. I'll try to converse with people and maybe meet up with some other bloggers or people who share similar interests and try to travel in a group. Really, this is what I'm the most worried about. I'm not going to know anybody there and sometimes I'm shy or uncomfortable when it comes to talking to people I don't know but I'm sure I'll manage if the only other option is to mope alone in my room!
8:00-Midnight: Moonlight Madness Bazaar. I have no idea what they sell, but I might as well find out, eh?
Friday, July 17th:
7:30-8:30 AM: Continental breakfast. Yum yum.
Mastering Your Domain: Research and Development of the Paranormal World (RESEARCH)
Speakers: Alyssa Day, Stephanie Julian, and Melissa Mayhue
Three paranormal writers and admitted research geeks will show you where to look and what to look for when blending folklore and mythology with modern genre fiction for extraordinary world-building.
Oh HELL YES. Worldbuilding! I need help with worldbuilding! Mostly because I'm using a created world PLUS a world based on an actual historical time period so that's like two types of research, argh, what have I wrought? -_-;
Creating the Believable Anti-Hero: a Stepped Approach to Creating Believable Villains (CRAFT)
Speaker: Bethany Oliver
Use the same principals as the Hero's Journey and learn how to ramp up your antagonist's motivations beyond surface conflict to create a truly worthy opponent.
This could be useful for how I treat Bertram, my novel's eeeevil villain. Right now I've made him basically power hungry (and maybe a little obsessive-compulsive) but otherwise I've got nada. This workshop could help.
How to Write the Breakout Book (CRAFT)
Speaker: Joan Johnston
What elements does your book need to raise it to the next level? A New York Times best-selling author shares tips on ramping up character, plot, and conflict.
I'm kinda of trying to write a breakout book (namely, my first), so this could give me some interesting tips.
Backup: Eh, again, not much in this timeslot. Time for a coffee break!
11:00 AM - 12:00PM
Paranormals: Writing Outside the Box (PUBLISHING)
Speakers: Kelley Armstrong, Jeaniene Frost, Melissa Marr, and Erika Tsang
Three New York Times best-selling authors and an Avon executive editor discuss the burgeoning urban fantasy/paranormal romance market for both adults and young adults.
Since I'm writing an historical(ish) fantasy, I'm more than eager to see how paranormals fare with the industry. I'm also up for YA tips, too.
Look Who's Talking: Mastering POV and Tense (CRAFT)
Speaker: Susan Lyon
Whether past or present, award-winning author Susan Lyons will help you find the perfect tense for your story, as well as through whose eyes the story should be told.
This is something I sometimes have trouble with - tense and POV come to me innately, so when I make mistakes I sometimes find it hard to identify where I've gone wrong and how I can fix it.
12:15-2:00PM: Awards Luncheon, featuring Eloisa James. ELOISA JAMES! And food.
It's Not the Hottest Genre, So How Do Debut Historical Romance Authors Get Six-Figure Deals? (PUBLISHING)
Speakers: Helen Breitwieser, Courtney Milan, Kristin Nelson, Sherry Thomas, Tracy Anne Warren, and Tessa Dare
Two agents and their debut historical romance clients, who were initially bought for six figures, discuss the how and the why behind these big deals.
Um, I'm writing an historical(ish) romance, I love money, and I really don't want to get any other sort of job other than writing. Good enough?
You Say Tomato, I Say To-Motto: How Character Motto Influences Plot, Conflict, & Other Story Elements (CRAFT)
Speaker: Susan Gable
Character motto impacts every decision, every choice, every action your character makes. Award-winning author Susan Gable examines how character motto can influence everything from setting details to the character growth arc, plot and conflict.
Characters are slippery with me, I write them with a tiny bit of an idea about them, and then let them progress on their own, but maintaining consistency is hard.
Why We Love Mr. Darcy: Insiders Tips on the Historical Market (PUBLISHING)
Speakers: Elizabeth Boyle, May Chen, and Laura Lee Guhrke
Two RITA-winning authors and an Avon editor share the scoop on what makes a historical rise to the top of an editor's pile and offer tips on crafting your perfect historical—with or without Mr. Darcy.
I know, my novel can be considered a fantasy but at heart it's a Regency. Plus I love Guhrke's books to pieces so of course I'll show up.
The Wit, Wisdom, and Writing Advice of Jennifer Crusie (CRAFT)
Speakers: Jennifer Crusie, Sarah Frantz, Pamela Regis, and Jennifer Van Slooten
Professors Sarah Frantz, Pamela Regis and Jessica Van Slooten examine the humor and writing advice in the novels of New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Crusie, who will respond to the literary criticism of her novels.
It's Jennifer Crusie - who are we kidding?
Love Your Voice (CRAFT)
Speakers: Laurie Schnebly Campbell and Julie Rowe
A hands-on session to help you discover what makes your writing voice special, and how to capitalize on your natural strengths.
One of my goals is to help develop my particular voice and help apply it to a larger writing format such as a novel.
What Came First, the Plot or the Character? The Yin and Yang of Creating Great Characters within Great Plots (CRAFT)
Speakers: Julie Kenner and Kathleen O'Reilly
Award-winning authors Julie Kenner and Kathleen O’Reilly interweave character and plotting techniques to help writers create page-turning stories that are truly unforgettable.
Yet another thing I'm having trouble balancing in my novel. This sounds like something really interesting.
12 Stages of the Writer’s Adventure: Write from the Inside Out (WRITERS LIFE)
Speaker: Beth Barany
Creativity coach and multi-published author Beth Barany examines ways to increase self-knowledge and write better by learning to harness the power of the 12 stages of the hero’s journey.
Hero's journey? I'm intrigued.
Nothing. There are two workshops - one on body disposal and one on sex through history. Maybe it's time for supper, parties, and more sightseeing!
Saturday, July 18th:
7:30-8:30 AM: Continental breakfast again.
Learn to Rewrite: Finishing the Manuscript Is Just the Beginning (CRAFT)
Speaker: Anna DeStefano
Join best-selling, Romantic Times award-winning author Anna DeStefano as she shares tools and techniques for navigating the editorial revisions necessary to sell your next manuscript.
Oh crap YES I need to learn how to rewrite my 146 000 word novel into something moderately readable! Please show me how!
The Art of Layering: from First Draft to Final Manuscript (CRAFT)
Speaker: Renee Halverson
Award-winning inspirational author Renee Halverson demonstrates how to layer emotion, senses, setting, backstory, and moral tension into a manuscript for seamless, powerful impact.
Honestly, this workshop is pretty much tied with the first one. I might have to flip a coin.
Unveiling the Mystery of How Book Covers Come About (PUBLISHING)
Speaker: Deeanne Gist
A behind-the-scenes look at the making of an actual book cover.
This one is out of pure curiosity - I've seen gorgeous covers, horrendous covers, and completely "m'eh" covers. How do they get chosen?
Get Your Acts Together (CRAFT)
Speaker: Blythe Gifford
Learn how the four-act story structure can help keep your external story, character arcs, and the developing love relationship working together through great beginnings, dramatic turning points, exciting climaxes, and endings to sigh for.
If my crazy train-wreck of a novel needs anything - it's more structuring. *sigh*
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
From Hook to Happy Ending: Using High Concept and Conflict to Make Your Historical Novel Rock (CRAFT)
Speakers: Gayle Callen, May Chen, Margo Maguire, and Paige Wheeler
Two multipublished Avon authors, an Avon editor, and an agent discuss ways to use conflict and high concept to create a compelling historical novel.
Does my novel have a high concept? Oh yes - so high even I have trouble keeping up with it. This sounds like a great opportunity.
Pitfalls to Pratfalls: Adding Humor to the Romance (CRAFT)
Speakers: Suzanne Enoch and Karen Hawkins
Two RWA Honor Roll authors take a fast, fun, and funny look at ways to insert humor into your manuscript without losing pacing or flow.
Suzanne Enoch writes legitimately funny stuff in her historicals - this could be useful.
Turning Points (CRAFT)
Speaker: Jennifer Crusie
Turning points are the key to pacing and plot development, says this New York Times best-selling author. Learn what we mean when we talk about turning points and beats, then explore ways to use these tools to tighten and focus plots and scenes.
Jennifer Crusie - who are we kidding?
12:00-12:45: Squeeze in lunch.
12:45 - 1:45
Our Favorite Flavors: What it Takes to Succeed in Some of Today’s Most Popular Romance Subgenres (CRAFT)
Speakers: Allison Brennan, Gaelen Foley, Holly Jacobs, and Gena Showalter
Four best-selling authors from four different subgenres present an engaging side-by-side comparison of how they handle the fundamentals in their specific fields. Hear these rising stars discuss how they handle those items common to all romances and the challenges inherent in each subgenre.
One writes historicals, another writes paranormals, and I don't want to narrow my horizons - so I could potentially learn quite a lot from this one.
Chemistry: How to Create the Sizzle that Will Keep Your Readers Glued to the Page (CRAFT)
Speaker: Sherry Thomas
Join historical author Sherry Thomas in a rigorous and fun analysis of what makes chemistry and what makes for better chemistry, as well as what common mistakes writers make.
I'd love to develop good chemistry with my characters, but ... I wasn't all that impressed by the chemistry in Sherry Thomas' Private Arrangements.
Agent Secrets: What Agents Really Want from an Unpublished Writer (CAREER)
Speaker: Laurie McLean
How do you capture an agent’s attention, make your query stand out, and entice one to say yes? Literary agent Laurie McLean unveils ancient agent mysteries and tells you how to give these elusive creatures exactly what they want.
Good tips on how to get the agent I'm looking for once I finally do finish my novel.
Boot Camp for Writers (CRAFT)
Speaker: Jenna Kernan
Help your manuscript find a happy home by making it as marketable as possible by learning about formatting, industry standards, characterization, dialogue, rewriting, editor peeves, dealing with rejection, and accepting “The Call.”
Yes, yes, yes. Help me with industry standards!
Body Language: Writing Compelling Characters of Both Sexes (RESEARCH)
Speaker: Mary Buckham
An acclaimed workshop presenter and romantic suspense author examines the real differences between men and women and how writers can ensure their characters are true to their gender.
I've written plenty of stories with male characters, but I'm always a little unsure if I'm getting things wrong (I grew up with two sisters, no brothers). This could definitely help.
MORE How to Make A Living Writing Romance Novels (CAREER)
Speaker: Stephanie Bond
RITA-winner Stephanie Bond breaks down the financial life cycle of a book and teaches writers how to best work within industry time lines to maximize their income. (2 hours)
This would have been my first choice (because my ultimate goal is to write novels for a living) - but for the fact that it's two hours.
The Birth and Feeding of a Series Story Arc (CRAFT)
Speakers: Claudia Dain, Sabrina Jeffries, and Deb Marlowe
Three different perspectives (an overarching mystery, a character arc, and a continuing battle between enemies) on how to plan, write, and market a series of individual romances where the overarching series itself contains an ongoing story.
Surprise! My novel is not only a high concept historical(ish) fantasy, but it's the first in a project SEVEN NOVEL ARC! Kill me now.
How to Use Screenwriting Techniques to Add Passion, Depth, and Immediacy to Your Novels (CRAFT)
Speaker: Victoria Johnson
Screenwriter, script supervisor, and author of All I Need To Know in Life I Learned from Romance Novels, Victoria Johnson shows how screenwriters keep their stories focused and urgent.
As some of my readers may be aware, I made a very nervous and tentative foray into screenwriting before I skittered back to trying a novel. But maybe this will help me get the best of both worlds!
5:30-8:00: Nothing on my plate. Supper, socializing - I must make sure to socialize, no matter how shy I am.
8:00-10:00 PM: The RITA awards! Time for crazy upsets, darkhorses and acceptance speeches!
10:00-Midnight: RITA & Golden Heart Reception. Partay
Sunday, July 19th
Go home. Sleep. Blog.
Now, bear in mind, this is just the jam-packed-OMG-caffeine-perfect world schedule. There's no way I'm going to be doing all of this - who knows how I'll be sidetracked or who I'll meet? I'm so excited.
Terrified, too, but excited. Who else is going to RWA? What workshops or events are you interested in seeing?