As many of you might know, Origins Game Fair is a convention I've been doing for the last four or five years now. Although the brunt of the convention programming is based in table-top games, there is a healthy writing track that includes people like Michael Stackpole and Timothy Zahn. Margaret Weiss is joining the "Library" this year. And then there's me.
I do a lot of writing panels (which you will see below) and I think it's one of the most fun conventions I've ever been to.
If you're in the Columbus, Ohio area and you're here for Origins, come by. I'll be signing and selling books at my table in the exhibition hall whenever I'm not on a panel. It starts tomorrow!
The schedule is also subject to change, so you might see me pop up where you might not expect!
Learn to craft a protagonist who will catch and hold your readers’ attention, not just with heroics, but with flaws, quirks, and secondary motivations. Learn to craft antagonists who are heroes of their own story, with realistic motivations and the intellectual, organizational, and leadership skills necessary to be worthy adversaries. They can help drive your plot, aid and vex your heroes, and make your story more complex, more subtle, and more interesting. Our panelists will even discuss some of their favorite characters and what went into building them
Elves, animals, aliens, dragons, robots, and monsters…oh my! How can you put them in your fiction without them reading as humans dressed in different skin? How do you effectively write “the other?” This includes a discussion of building your non-human characters’ society.
You’ve heard the expression “pushing the envelope.” Is there a time a writer should go beyond that and burn the envelope into a little pile of ash? When does breaking writing taboos work? Can it have consequences? Can it affect your sales? When can a writer get away with it? And when should a writer pull back and leave the envelope intact? Our panelists talk about scenes where they burned the envelope…and where they chose not to.
Fantasy, science fiction, military, horror, mystery, steampunk, romance, westerns, and more. There are defined genres in fiction, and writing in a specific genre can make it easier to sell your manuscript. But sometimes a story crosses the lines…and you just have to write it. A steampunk-western, a military-urban fantasy, a science fiction-fantasy, a darkly comedic eco-thriller, or a cozy-horror. Our authors talk about how best to smear the lines and how to market your end product.
Learn the joys and difficulties of self-publishing from finished manuscript to layout to copy edits and covers. Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, Createspace, and more will be covered. Learn how crowdfunding works for publishing projects and what projects succeed while others fail. ,
Working with a co-author can be awesome. It can also be agonizing. There are definite pros and cons to sharing a byline on a novel or writing tie-in fiction for someone else’s world. Our authors who have experience sharing discuss the fine art of collaboration and what you can do to help make it work
Diverse readers demand diversity in science fiction and fantasy. In the past several years authors have made a conscious effort to sculpt stories with characters of all races, religions, and sexual persuasions. Is there a point when diversity becomes a stereotype…the strong woman-warrior who can out-fight any man? Our panelists cover how to do it right and how diversity plays a role in their own fiction .
What’s in your office? Beyond the ideas and outlines and time spent at a keyboard, there are things that can help improve your writing. Our panelists discuss desk space, offices, word processors, software, desktops, laptops, reference books, and more…accoutrements for the serious writer.
The genre has changed considerably in the past several decades, from paperbacks filled with two-dimensional characters on quests, to political intrigue, racy bedroom scenes, and dark themes with complicated protagonists. Our panelists explore the path the fantasy genre has taken, look at where it stands now, and theorize what likely will happen in the future.
I've had a new piece come out for StarWars.Com, a new playlist, this one is about Cham Syndulla.
And I also wrote a piece for City Weekly about what artists owe you. It's called "Art on Demand."
As a reminder: Please join my short story Patreon here. Your contributions to the Patreon help me write more like this.
The Aeronaut and Escape Vector are still out and still need your purchases and reviews. If nothing else, they can use you telling people about them. If you want signed copies, visit the shop here on this page.
Also! here's the full list of "rules and guidelines" I've been collecting over my years of studying writing advice and process.
As far as my work outside of all this: There's a lot of great stuff on Big Shiny Robot! and Full of Sith for you.