RWA Nationals, by Mason

 Let me go back to talking about day four before I give my over all impressions of the conference.

Another wonderful day of sessions and interesting information presented.

In the morning, I went to the art of collaborations since I’m in the middle of doing just that with another author. I would have liked to go to the spotlight on St. Martin’s Press but I can’t submit to them at this point because I don’t have an agent so I focused on other things.

Sherry Lewis’s Why, why, why? Was a delight. I can’t tell you how wonderful this course was. If you can check out her website. It was wonderful to know I get it! I’d like to say that my editor Mary did a wonderful job teaching me how to show the reader. I can’t even bring myself to look back at the original MS I submitted of Aequitas I Betrayal, because my work has evolved so much from the copy I sent in. I listened to Mary because after talking to her I knew she got my work. She understood where I was going with the book and if she was pulling stuff out of me or asking me to refine the craft she was doing it to help others see the my diamond sometimes hidden in the coal mind.

I went to the how to sale to Harlequin’s London office. I found the session enlightening. The personalities of writers they presented let me know where I fit in.  I also went to the miniseries workshop, another one put on by Harlequin. We did have the fire alarms go off during these session so if you get the mp3s that’s what all the noise is. I will be getting some of the recordings from the sessions as I can buy individual ones this year.

I followed up with the Dorchester spotlight. Christopher Keeslar one of the few males in the Romance business was an interesting presenter and provided time for us to ask questions.

I was blown away by the look inside an editors mind session. I’m so very grateful for Leslie Waiger’s openness with us. I need to rework my synopsis!

The last workshop I attended was the High-Octane Kisses. I’m not the only one writing stuff that’s bordering the lines of romance. Jump for joy! Don’t get me wrong, I love romance but I just wonder sometimes if I’m the only one writing outside the box. But now I know I’m not.

Even this many days later, my head is still full of ideas and information swimming around on how I can do better with my writing.

Over all what I took out of the RWA conference for 2009.

1)      Don’t be afraid to be different.

2)      Don’t hold back in your writing.

3)      Always show over tell.

4)      Plot. Even after, you’ve completed the manuscript it’s never too late. I never plot first. As you look back and do your rewrite, you can improve your book by out lining the plot.

5)      Give your character grounded motivations and don’t go for the cliché.

6)      Get a critique partner out of your genre if they are always asking you why are the characters doing this or that you haven’t made the motivations clear and your relying on genre clichés to carry the work. 

7)      If you want to succeed as an author, you’ve got to treat your writing like a job not a hobby and put the hours in every day. I put in an equal amount of hours at my day job as my writing so that one day writing will be my day job.

8)      If you can’t love your characters, don’t expect us to.

9)      Be bold and dig deep in your own emotions to suck in your reader.

10)  Never stop learning.

11)  Give back to other authors starting out.

12)  Be kind.

I knew most of these things going into the conference but hearing the people that are looking at our work, day in and out reassures the neurotic author in my head was fantastic.

1) Fitting in the box is awesome too.

2) Writing by formula is not a dirty word.

Trust yourself to tell the story you have inside you and not the one you think will sale.

Last, I want to talk about the awards ceremony. I think everyone there could sense the joy of those writers recognized by fellow authors. Writing is often work done in isolation and I’m sure being affirmed was an honor for all the winners. Congratulations to all this year’s winners and nominees for 2009.

I’ll be posting some photos on my website.



Darkness ♀♂ Desires

Aequitas I Betrayal, from Lyrical Press, Inc


About Susan Hanniford Crowley

Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, and Science Fiction Author
This entry was posted in a.c. Mason, Romance News, RWA, Writers Conferences and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to RWA Nationals, by Mason

  1. genelladegrey says:

    Great post again, Mason –

    I have to disagree with one tiny part: “Get a critique partner out of your genre. . . ”

    I was assigned an editor who wrote short contemp paranormals – and my story was a single-title historical supernatural.

    I spent more of my time explaining the historical and supernatural aspects, and begging to retain my character development than doing actual editing.

    Now, that’s not to say that a *beta reader* can’t be out of your genre . . . Just be prepared to do a lot of ‘splainin, Lucy.


  2. Mason says:

    Thanks Genella!

    I agree an editor that gets your work makes working together a smooth partnership.


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