My First Author Conference – Day 4

Last night, I tried to go to bed but I couldn’t sleep, so I ended up listening to another panel. I’m doing some free fiction (which is available on this site, just two to three posts down) and I have intentions of doing some paranormal / UF stuff. Yeah, I’m ADHD. I can’t help the way my brain works. The shit thing is I highly depend on it to write and it writes what it wants.

After watching it, I realized it’s not just for Paranormal Romance authors. They shared their marketing, what worked for them, how they looked for their niche group of readers. This panel is good for new authors. For newish authors like me, you would have known the importance of covers and blurbs. The rest of the topics are just touch and go. They didn’t really delve very deeply into how to make paranormal romance successful but more like sharing their experiences as paranormal romance authors. Recommended those who are writing, thinking of and about to publish their first paranormal romance book (which is me!)

Today, my first video is on emotional resonance.

It’s quite similar to the “Story Creation – Theme” talk I attended on Day 3. This one is more concise. If you are deciding between the 4-part talk and this one, choose this one. The 4-part talk is incomplete too because something happened and part 2 is not available. Kevin Ikenberry breaks down and clearly structures how a story should work. This ADHD brain appreciates that.

Next I watched Killing in a Small Niche by Nora Phoenix. It’s only available in the FB group. Sometimes I feel the stuff I’m writing is different and I need to find my readers so I thought I’ll hear it out. Besides, it’s the human mentality. Since it’s not going to be available on Youtube, I want to watch this first. Since it’s only privi to the 20books Vegas group, I’m not going to talk about it here.

Newbies, you need to watch it. So go join the group and dig it up before it’s gone forever.

The next one I attended was the Fantasy Panel. It’s nothing I didn’t already know. I watched only ten minutes and took off.

I decided to watch a craft video next and I picked Crafting Narrative by Marc Stieger.

It was on showing, not telling, which is again, not new to me. However, it’s a skill that I need to work on because my sentences are not tight and concise. Marc was sharing but he didn’t have a slide projector to show his slides and they weren’t available online, so I had a lot of difficulty following. After hanging on for 20mins I gave up. It’s a pity because I found it really useful, just that I couldn’t see the examples he was walking around showing the participants on his laptop and the sound quality was causing me to push the earbuds really deep into my ears.

At this point, my ears hurt, so I picked a presentation with awesome sound quality to can give my ears a break. All those at the Bally’s event Centre has AMAZING recording quality. So I picked up Sarah Noffke’s Production and Writing a Long Series.

It’s as awesome as the sound quality, but for me, the real presentation starts at 16:00. I almost didn’t make it until there because I’m ADHD.

The key takeaways here are:

  1. You need to find out what makes you passionate about writing, and I really mean passionate. It’s not just “I want to write a book” but what drives that desperation in you to write.
    For me, it’s my kids. They are all on the autism spectrum, co-morbid with other issues. While I hope they can find a job and sustain that job to support themselves for the rest of their lives, I probably have to work until the day I die to supplement them financially.
    I’m hoping that’ll be my books. I hope to write a Star Wars, Dune or Lord of the Rings one day that will help feed my kids even after I die.
    For Sarah, it was something else. You have to watch the presentation to know what it is but it’s that passion because writing gets hard. You don’t have that desperation to fuel you, you’re going to fall short.
  2. Discipline – It’s not about forcing yourself to crank out the words, but having the discipline to look after yourself so that the writing doesn’t lead to burnout. You eat right, you work out, etc etc, Discipline in all areas.
    It hit me, because I have so many responsibilities, I’m often exhausted at the end of the day, and that’s the only time I get to write. Regardless of how passionate I am, there is a limit to how much I can overwork my brain.
    So after this, I need to re-look at my life and sort it out in such a way that really gives me time to write. How the hell have I already cranked out 4 books?!
  3. Consistency – Not just the frequency the books are coming out, but also the consistency in the style, the structure and all. She didn’t say the following but I’m applying it to my own books. I don’t have multiple pen-names and I don’t intend to because it takes too much time and energy. I also intend to write in different genres because it’s what fuels my passion. So I plan to be consistent in my type of contents. My readers will expect fast-paced, action-filled, romance book with characters that people can identify with. This will be consistent in all my books regardless of genre.
  4. Turn your obstacles into superpowers. I could identify with that. It’s about the determination to find means and ways to achieve what you want. She wrote her books on a phone while working out on a treadmill and stationary bike, among others. I, too, wrote my books on my phone, but during lunch hours, during my breaks, during my long train journey to my work which is about 1.5 hrs away from my home.
  5. Believe in yourself. ’nuff said. Don’t give up.

I’m not delivering this half as well as her so click on it and listen to her. She’s telling me to keep going and that’s what I’ll do.

So after that, I should be feeling all hyped up and motivated to write! I should be listening to a craft talk or start writing! But I didn’t. Instead, I listened to Becca Syme’s – Stuck, Blocked, Or Burned Out: What To Do When I Can’t Write.

It’s important to diagnose why we are having writer’s block so that we can fix it.I think I’m on the right track. Becca diagnosed the different types of writer’s block and how to tackle them. It’s very enlightening. It explains a lot why I crunch more words on my phone in the train compared to my workstation at home. I think this is a very crucial talk for all writers and it’s perfect that I watched this after I watched Sarah’s talk on production. Becca also addresses procrastination and distractions.

This is gold.

Tomorrow I’ll watch more. It’s the end of the conference talks for those in Vegas but I have a lot more to go. I’m glad I did my first talk virtually so that I know how it’s like and I can pace myself when I physically make it there one day (and I will).

Published by Evangeline Rain

Evangeline Rain transports into her own fantasy world at night after she has completed all her boring responsibilities in the day. She copes with her mid-life crisis by pretending to be the kick-ass female leads she loves writing about, and transforms her little writing nook beside the storeroom into the fantastical worlds she dreams about. As a newbie author she doesn't have a niche genre yet, she just writes whatever comes to her head. She hopes to reach out to more readers to share the joy she experienced in the stories she had written.

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