Lessons from Worldcon

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ThomasKCarpenter
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Lessons from Worldcon

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:41 am

While Worldcon was full of great moments and fantastic people, the whole point of the convention - for us writer-types - is the business of writing. So here are my thoughts and learning points from Worldcon, in no particular order of importance:

* Indie publishing took a larger role on the panels and was generally more accepted. It was interesting to listen to panels that had Grand Masters like Connie Willis on one end and a newer indie-only published author on the other.
* Lots of long term pros are putting work out indie to take advantage of their backlist or stories that they loved but never found a home.
* Bud Sparhawk (three time Nebula nominee and current SWFA officer) writes 100 short stories/novellas a year in hopes that he'll sell 5-10 of them (he gave some percentages too, but they didn't match the numbers he quoted; maybe someone else who was there during that conversation remembers)
* Hugh Howey, the author of the Wool series (and all-around nice guy), had his success while doing ZERO promotion. He had a great point that social media is something your fans do and is not what a writer should do (beyond a few minimums)
* Publishers don't know how to work the current market. One long-term pro I talked to was complaining that the shared-world book series he was writing for was getting smaller and smaller sales because there was so much backstory to wade through to get to the new book for new readers. I asked him why they weren't doing lead-in stories that led people to the first book and he said that he wasn't in control--that was the publishers fault. (I heard similar tales of publishers being oblivious to the tools available from many writers) This is the issue with the "book as produce" thinking. With a long series they should be constantly selling the first book to get people into the world.
* Publishers don't know that indie authors have many tools at their service (editing, POD, audiobooks, etc.) so they're going into negotiations thinking they're going to "impress the newbie" by telling them they can: "get their books in print" only to be laughed out of the negotiation (okay, overexagerating here, I heard of no laughing, but an instance of stunned disbelief)
* Best line I heard about publishing was from Hugh Howey in regards to traditional publishing (paraphrased): "Taking a bad deal in traditional is the new vanity publishing."
* The pressure of selling books and stories never end; you just trade up for new problems.
* A lot of people are making significant money in indie publishing.
* Be ready to capitalize on your first big sale or breakthrough (including WOTF!) Brad made a good point on one panel that many writers after winning, disappear for a few years while they work on "the novel". So it's best to have a portfolio of work by the time you have your breakthrough. I even heard a few people who have had high profile breakthroughs complain about "having their success too early when they weren't ready for it". Something to keep in mind that even if you win WOTF, it's just another step on the infinite career staircase and that if you wait too long before the next step, everyone will have forgotten you.

Hopefully the others that attended can add their own "lessons". For me it was a wonderful experience and I think it's nearly a mandatory event if you really want to have a career in writing. Maybe not every year, but at least once every couple. It's also great inspiration to keep your fingers typing away on the keyboard. wotf007

And on a more personal note, I had a wonderful time meeting everyone there and it was the people that made it such a memorable and worthwhile time. Hopefully I'll see you all again soon. wotf007
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby dantzel » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:06 am

Great idea, Tom! I'll add a few of my own.

*China is an emerging market - something to consider.
*I had the best moments outside of panels - At dinners, chatting in the lobby, attending room parties, and so on. The parties may sound scary, but if you know someone that can open a conversation with someone you want to meet, you quickly get to know tons of people. I had a fantastic time talking with people like Eddie Schneider, the VP of JABberwocky, and Bud Sparhawk, and so on. (I'm running on 4.5 hours of sleep, so forgive my lack of memory at the moment.) Everyone is friends with someone else, and one friendship can lead to another friendship, and you never know what could come of them.
*Don't assume that harassment doesn't happen anymore. wotf016 I'll talk more about that in the 5 minute rant thread after I've taken a nap.
*Don't assume that all annoying audience members are just dumb or whatever. Sometimes it's autism or something, and you can get the poor behavior to stop simply by giving them boundaries.

That's all my brain will allow for now. I'll write more after work and a nap.
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby gower21 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:49 am

Very Awesome! Thanks for posting these. I'm glad to hear about "taking advantage of a WOTF win" I'm hoping to get a novel done and another mostly done BEFORE the workshop. I also was thinking the other day I need to write a few more good shorter marketable stories to send off too. So I think that train of thought was a good one to have after hearing this.

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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby katsincommand » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:24 pm

I learned that in some ways, i am utterly and completely NORMAL.

:)

But seriously: I learned how to identify myself and what I write - which will be important when making connections. I learned that endings need to be practiced. I learned that if I want to write science fiction, I need some seriously scientifically smart beta readers who aren't afraid to correct my limited knowledge. (Because sometimes, what you get wrong isn't what you thought to research).

I also learned that if I show up to a party late, I probably want to drink BEFORE I get there because the booze runs out and I get stuck walking around with a bottle of water when I really need to loosen up a bit...
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:55 pm

I have a lot of random things that I learned. Some of these are serious, and some are humorous -- and some may SEEM humorous, but I'm serious about them.

1. Everyone is taller on the Internet. Not to name names (Scalzi), but some people are MUCH shorter than their Internet personalities might indicate. Some people, on the other hand, are VERY tall. John Scalzi next two Charlie Jane Anders was quite an amusing sight. The top of his head lined up about with her biceps.

2. You can't put a tourniquet on a burst blood vessel in the bowels. (It was quite a panel, you had to be there... Hi, Dawn!)

3. Analog is buying my story! (This is the new "Jerry Pournelle loved my story!" It'll take me a while to stop bursting out with this news at inappropriate moments. I'm still having trouble believing it...)

4. Dantzel has amazing dance talent. I kid you not, I have a new appreciation for interpretive dance. I've seen it done very poorly by local college students (I lost respect for the idea when some fellow students did an interpretive dance as their final for a Cosmology class). I've seen it done much better at the WIotF awards. But I've never seen it done as improv. I would've bet that was impossible; but Dantzel did it so well, I would've sworn it must've been coreographed in advance.

5. Story Musgrave is a Heinlein Hero come to life: farmer, high school drop out, Marine, self-trained pilot, astronaut, space telescope designer, space telescope repair man, psychologist, medical doctor, practicing trauma surgeon, holder of 6 doctoral degrees (REAL doctoral degrees, PLUS 20 honorary degrees), philosopher, poet, and at age 78 the father of a 6 year old daughter!

6. According to Mike Resnick's research, Asimov's buys about 1 story in 4,000 slush submissions from unknown writers. F&SF buys about 1 in 800. Analog was somewhere in between. This research is a little dated -- Kris Rusch was still at F&SF when he compiled it -- but it gives you some idea. I hope this doesn't discourage anyone, but I feel compelled to report the findings honestly. Besides, it MIGHT happen if you try, but it CAN'T happen if you don't. And don't forget... "Never tell me the odds." -- H. Solo, esq.

7. When you go to a con, pack a con bag with food. You never know when you might get 9 straight hours of interesting events and no time to eat. And you DO NOT want to pay hotel snack bar prices if you don't have to! $23 for two protein bars, a small protein shake, and a small orange juice.

8. Alex Kane is a pleasant and considerate roommate, and I'm glad I finally met him.

9. Ditto on meeting Dantzel, Dawn, Dave, Bob, Tom, Annie, Brad, Laurie, Gama, Megan, Stone, and Dr. Phil. And I just know as tired as I am, I'm forgetting someone, so I apologize!

10. The elevators at a con can take a VERY long time as people all try to go up or down at the same time. You might have to let three or four elevators pass by because they arrive at your floor completely full. When in a hurry, plan to use the stairs.

11. 30 flights of stairs is a loooooong way to go at a fast climb, even when you're going down! I couldn't figure out why my thighs were aching. Then I remembered that Sunday I had 10 minutes to get to the "Future of Analog" panel; and, well, see lesson 10.

12. The Chicago Hyatt has a very nice exercise room with some great treadmills. I got 35 minutes of workout in, and I burned 570 calories. It's just too bad that was just before lesson 11. I could've saved myself the workout.

13. 35 minutes on the treadmill + 30 flights of stairs + 10 hours without eating (see lesson 7) is a really dumb idea; but I got to hear Story Musgrave. I got to learn about intra-anal tourniquets (and the impossibility thereof). I got to learn all about the future of Analog. I got introduced to Trevor. I met Robert J. Sawyer. And I got to spend nearly an hour in a kaffeflatsch with Jack McDevitt, who's very much my role model as a writer. So who needs food?

14. The Hugo Awards ceremony is formal (for some definitions of formal).

15. The line for the Hugo Awards ceremony starts at least two hours ahead of time.

16. There is NO cell signal to speak of in the lower levels of the Hyatt Regency, and the WiFi signal is awful. Good luck trying to coordinate with your friends!

17. Stan says that since they opened up for electronic submissions, the number of submissions has gone up nearly ten fold; but the number of purchasable stories hasn't really changed. So they're getting a lot more submissions that just don't work, including a lot more that really don't even fit the genre.

18. Despite lesson 17, Analog REALLY prefers electronic submissions now. They see paper submissions as almost inconvenient.

19. It IS possible to write at WorldCon. I transcribed close to 3,000 words from my phone recorder, and I wrote another 500+ original words.

20. Alex snores. Or maybe that was me.

21. WorldCon is all about the parties. Which is bad for me, because I'm not a natural party person, especially since I was so tired at night. I missed some of the best stuff.

22. WorldCon is all about business. Fans have their place there, no doubt, but it's writers and artists and editors gathering in one place that makes WorldCon important for those in the business. If you ARE in the business or you intend to be, treat it as a business event. You can have fun, but make sure you make contacts and discuss projects as well.

23. Bring business cards. Pass them out when you're following lesson 22.

24. Ask your accountant if WorldCon expenses may be tax deductible. I have been advised that mine probably are, especially given my lunch with Stan.

25. Keep your receipts, just in case lesson 24 applies.

26. Avoid the dealers' room! It's a trap! My total: two Buck Godot graphic novels signed by Phil Foglio; a Girl Genius collection for my niece, signed by Kaja and Phil AND with a hand-drawn sketch by Phil; an old Arthur C. Clarke Mars collection that will NEVER make it to Kindle, I'm sure; two old movies that might be good space stories (the dealer couldn't say for sure, but I took a chance); a signed copy of Jerry Pournelle's A Spaceship for the King (which I knew as King David's Spaceship); and three old Planet of the Apes magazine that have within a story which has haunted my memories for nearly 40 years. No, I won't add up what I spent! You can't make me!

27. And no, dealers' room purchases are NOT tax deductible (unless in special cases -- ask your accountant).

28. Mike Resnick is a fencer! Resnick, Bova, Shoemaker... Coincidence?

29. Plan your panels in advance. Have a backup plan. Then be ready to throw it all out the window when you have a chance to spend time with someone you don't want to miss.

30. Geez-o-peet, people, turn off your freakin' cell phones! I understand ringing phones in a normal crowd, but we're SF fans! We're supposed to be the smart people! TURN OFF YOUR FREAKIN' CELL PHONES, AND FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE DON'T *A*N*S*W*E*R* THEM!!!!!

31. John Scalzi improvises almost as well as Dantzel. Some of those jokes couldn't have been scripted.

32. Show up early. Learn how to find stuff.

33. Stay late. The end of the con was pretty moving.

34. "Your main character MUST change." -- Brad R. Torgersen

35. The short story is the ideal length for science fiction.

36. The novelette is the ideal length for science fiction.

37. The novel is the ideal length for science fiction.

38. Every author has a different idea of what constitutes the ideal length for science fiction.

39. Connie Willis makes a good case that the novelette is the ideal length for mysteries. Any shorter, and the clues are kinda standing around naked; but with novelette length, you can dress them up in misleading costumes.

40. And speaking of costumes... Wow, some of those people have talent!

41. Trevor Quachri learned his craft from Stan, so expect a good deal of continuity at Analog.

42. Stan and Trevor really wish people would let go of some myths about Analog, particularly: that they don't accept stories from female writers (excuse me? Patty, Nancy, Marianne just to name three off the top of my head); and that they only accept the sort of nuts-n-bolts story that I love (really, they accept a lot more than that -- the only key is that the science be ESSENTIAL TO THE STORY, not that it be detailed).

43. Penny Press (owners of Analog, Asimov's, Hitchcock, and Ellery Queen) doesn't really understand the fiction side of their business at all, so they mostly let their editors run the show. And the editors like it that way!

44. Except for budgets. Lesson 43 does not apply to budgets. If readership drops, Penny Press starts pinching pennies.

45. Readership has dropped. A lot. Down to maybe 15-30K for each of the magazines. But that's PAPER. Electronic readership is growing fast, and is already keeping the magazines in the black. Penny Press is pleasantly pleased.

46. Sy Liebergott is inspiring, another of my heroes. But my word... He puts the geek in geek! He can spend 20 minutes on one screen shot of numbers from his Apollo 13 console! Even my eyes were glazing over at the end!

47. But Sy also was full of absolutely wonderful Apollo era knowledge and anecdotes.

48. The Apollo 13 explosion as explained by Sy was almost exactly as explained by Murray and Bly Cox in their book. Their account differs in many ways from Jim Lovell's book and Andrew Chaikin's book, and I always thought their research was definitive. Sy seemed to confirm that.

49. Mike Resnick is a gentleman and a scholar in a very real sense, no kidding here; and in particular, he believes in paying it forward by helping promising young writers get publication credits. Brad is only one example. Keep an eye out for the Stellar Guild series, in which an established pro teams with a new author, each telling one novella in a common universe. Brad (curse his fortune!) is sharing a volume with Larry Freakin' Niven!

50. WorldCon 2013 is in San Antonio! Who else is going?
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby dantzel » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:36 pm

I love reading what everyone learned. I ditto so many of Tom's, Dawn's, and Martin's, and I'm glad that my improv interpretive dance came across as enjoyable instead of just complete and utter dorkiness on my part. I'm just going to mention that improv dance has earned me an entire cone of chocolate dipped strawberries at Godiva before, so - you know - ya'll may want to consider taking it up sometime. wotf006 (Although there's no getting around that I'm weird - which is how I think Dawn came to her conclusion about herself) *sigh* I love dance.

I 100% agree with Martin about the business cards. SO IMPORTANT. And I didn't bring them. I was kicking myself the whole con.

Let's do this again next year! wotf024
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby Alex Kane » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:08 pm

- Print out the first draft of your novel or story, and mark any spots where you’re able to stop reading, or where you stumble, with post-it notes; keep reading on; then, when you come back to the manuscript to begin a second draft, these sticky notes will show you where polishing or revision is necessary.

- George R. R. Martin believes that magic must be both rare and dangerous in the realm of fantasy, because if it were either common or easily used, then sorcerers would rule the kingdom(s), not historically-based “royalty”; the game of power and politics would be rendered meaningless in the face of true invincibility. He explains that many fantasy worlds “make no f—ing sense to me.”

- Connie Willis argues that writing doesn’t necessarily have to be approached as a do-or-die, for-a-living vocation, but can rather be viewed as something done merely for the sake of the thing, out of love for the craft of storytelling.

- Willis also contends that “a story takes as long as it takes, be it days, weeks, or many years.”

- When your moderator interrupts you, shut up and let them steer the conversation back on track. No one wants to hear you shamelessly tout your novel while pretending to know your science better than Geoffrey A. Landis, formerly of NASA’s Institute for Advanced Concepts.

- Philip K. Dick is perhaps the only science fiction writer to have “achieved literature,” according to at least one passionate writer and critic, who also came of age in Berkeley, California in the 1960s.

- Fantasy likely dominates science fiction in terms of broad market growth—according to Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (who comprise the pseudonym James S. A. Corey, author of Leviathan Wakes), Scott Lynch, and others—because of the tendency of SF to rely on intertextuality, in-jokes, and a general sense of literary and intellectual elitism over a compelling narrative. I took their point to be that science fiction writers first developed an emphasis on both a well-read audience and a sophisticated familiarity with scientific concepts on the part of their peers; and then later, as with the cyberpunk movement’s idea-rich, “dense” style, a deemphasizing of plot mechanics.

- A writer is a writer is a writer; in the end, they’re all just like us. Styx’s prog-rock anthem “The Grand Illusion” is a worthy illustration of how, despite how much we may come to worship our literary exemplars, they’re first and foremost fans and readers of the genre that they themselves enrich through their own work. Treat them as equals, and they’ll return the favor.

- Monica Valentinelli reminds us to “forgive yourself for wanting to have a life.”

- Gene Wolfe says that whenever confronted with writer’s block, we ought to take a few days and remove ourselves from the language in all its forms—stop reading, stop writing, and go do something physical in the outside world. After a walk, painting a room, or doing a little recreational gardening, the words are likely to flow more freely in the first-draft stage.

- “The measure of how human you are, is how kind you are.” — Guy H. Lillian III, on the overarching themes throughout Philip K. Dick’s enormous body of work. Not to mention a great bit of truth.

- Geoffrey A. Landis argues that cerebral upload is made plausible by the fact that “You can simulate the way [neurons] fire—it’s what computers are good at.” But notes that “Nanotechnology really does have problems with the laws of thermodynamics.”

- Alec Nevala-Lee believes that the more excited you are by an idea for a story, the more suspicious of it you should be. In other words, sometimes simpler or less obvious premises more readily lend themselves to storytelling.

- Jamie Todd Rubin contends that there are some ideas that should be discarded, because a good idea will generally begin to suggest a narrative of some sort, whereas others are only half-formed, or require a second idea with which to fuse into a complete story premise.
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby Brad R. Torgersen » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:21 pm

Great stuff, guys! I am enjoying reading all of your takeaways from Worldcon!

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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby AMcCarter » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:35 am

I would argue book purchases are tax deductible as business expenses for a writer as they may count as "research." However, I am not an accountant.
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby AlistairKimble » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:08 am

First: It was great meeting and hanging out with quite a few WotF people: Tom, Dantzel, Alex, David Carani, Marie Croke, Jacob Boyd, and...I'm probably leaving someone out. I'm really sorry to have missed all the others who attended Chicon.

Takeaways:

The biggest advice I have is this: you never know who will simply come up to you and start chatting, so, even more important than business cards to me is being normal. I've only been attending cons for a few years now, but the simple advice of being friendly, open, and "normal" (whatever that really means at a science fiction convention filled with eccentric writers and some truly odd fans) is key.

Over the past few years I've been slowly becoming friends with senior editors at multiple publishers as well as some fairly respected writers (all in a non-pressure way). These editors know that when they hang out with me I'm not trying to sell them something or be pushy and just talk about me, me, me (because we chat and I'm actually showing an interest in them and their lives). Now, this has taken a couple of years, but the take-away is this: eventually in the course of dinner, drinks, shooting pool, etc., they all get around to asking me what I'm working on and have given me the green light to send them my work when I have something I think suits them and their company. This has worked so well that a senior editor for a publisher I'd love to sell to will be in my hometown tomorrow and wants to go to lunch and have a few beers.

In short: think long term, build relationships, and be relaxed, you don't always have to be in high pressure sales mode.

Also: what everyone else wrote above, excellent advice and lessons!

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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby MJNL » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:27 am

Thank you, guys! These are great.

And me thinks I will be attending next year.
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby Strycher » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:42 am

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:7. When you go to a con, pack a con bag with food. You never know when you might get 9 straight hours of interesting events and no time to eat. And you DO NOT want to pay hotel snack bar prices if you don't have to! $23 for two protein bars, a small protein shake, and a small orange juice.


*Ahem*

Strycher back in March wrote:
Alex Kane wrote:This will actually be my first con


Not going to Chicon 7, though I will be at Dragon*Con. General Con advice I give everyone: Bring nutrition with you. Food will be expensive when you get there. Granola bars and the little V8 cans fit in your pocket and will save you from missing out when you get stuck on the escalator on your way up one level "real quick" to visit the concession stand in between panels. Pop-tarts are your friend.


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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby katsincommand » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:09 am

LOL I carried around bags of goldfish and fruit loops :)
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby katsincommand » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:13 am

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:I have a lot of random things that I learned. Some of these are serious, and some are humorous -- and some may SEEM humorous, but I'm serious about them.

1. Everyone is taller on the Internet. Not to name names (Scalzi), but some people are MUCH shorter than their Internet personalities might indicate. Some people, on the other hand, are VERY tall. John Scalzi next two Charlie Jane Anders was quite an amusing sight. The top of his head lined up about with her biceps.

2. You can't put a tourniquet on a burst blood vessel in the bowels. (It was quite a panel, you had to be there... Hi, Dawn!)



1. Should I just tell everyone how short I am? I don't usually notice it in person, but when I see myself in a photograph with 8 other people who tower over me, it becomes evident.

2. I can't remember her name, but she was hysterical. I swear, even if Scott Lynch had told the same story, it wouldn't have been that funny.
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby Alex Kane » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:58 am

Scott Lynch is one of several whose fiction I'll be seeking out based solely on how impressive their responses were at various panels. He was hilarious, intelligent, and seemed like a nice, genuine individual.
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby AMcCarter » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:14 pm

Sounds like fun was had by all. Also, lots of good advice. I'm hoping I can go to LoneStarCon next year. We shall see. Stupid money.
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby izanobu » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:33 pm

What? I'm exactly the height I am in person as on the net wotf008

What was nice about Worldcon for me was that since I'm doing fine self-publishing, I felt no pressure to sell to anyone or anything. Basically an extension of what Alastair was saying. It was nice to be able to just relax and be myself and not worry about the business stuff so much.

I second the carrying of business cards. I remember my first Worldcon where I had none at all (didn't think I'd need them as an unpublished writer). Big mistake.

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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby morshana » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:45 pm

Thanks for all the sharing, guys!

It's nice to know I wouldn't be expected to have to sell myself. Hanging out, chatting. That's all fine.
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:56 pm

Man, I make one little joke about height without naming any names (Scalzi), and everyone thinks it's about them! My out-of-control ego must be contagious! wotf013

katsincommand wrote:
Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:2. You can't put a tourniquet on a burst blood vessel in the bowels. (It was quite a panel, you had to be there... Hi, Dawn!)



...

2. I can't remember her name, but she was hysterical. I swear, even if Scott Lynch had told the same story, it wouldn't have been that funny.


Marie Bilodeau. And yes, she was excellent. That was the best-balanced panel I saw all weekend. Everyone contributed, and their points nicely complemented each other.
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ThomasKCarpenter
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:09 pm

And I forgot to add this gem to the list:

* If you're on a panel, do NOT spend your time talking about your book, or books, or the characters in your books, even if it's related to the panel topic. It's rude and it looks really bad. Unfortunately, I saw one writer do that to a panel that Annie was on and that could have been very interesting. If you talk about OTHER people's books, that's okay and comes across on topic. The other, not so much. Not in a million years.
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Strycher
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby Strycher » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:34 am

ThomasKCarpenter wrote:And I forgot to add this gem to the list:

* If you're on a panel, do NOT spend your time talking about your book, or books, or the characters in your books, even if it's related to the panel topic. It's rude and it looks really bad. Unfortunately, I saw one writer do that to a panel that Annie was on and that could have been very interesting. If you talk about OTHER people's books, that's okay and comes across on topic. The other, not so much. Not in a million years.


Yeah, that's terrible. I saw [at Dragon*Con 2011], someone hold up a panel to ask a question that turned into a description of their Supernatural slash fanfic. It was brutal.

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MJNL
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby MJNL » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:28 pm

I don't mind that kind of thing so much as long as it's an expert example and the answer is pithy and brief. But most of the time it's obnoxious, for sure. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a thread on the Absolute Write forums where someone asks for a published example of X and half the replies consist of, "Well, in my WIP, which is the first thing I’ve written ever, I..."

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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby bobsandiego » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:57 pm

I didn't learn an awful lot of craft, and I know I am too shy for good networking, though I had lots of fun and came away with techinical knowledge that really helped.
(Light takes 10,000 yars to escape from the center of a star!)

Jack MacDevitt made me really think about the emotional stakes in stories.

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ThomasKCarpenter
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:22 pm

A longer post on my blog about the experience:

http://thomaskcarpenter.com/2012/09/06/report-from-worldcon/
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austinDm
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Re: Lessons from Worldcon

Postby austinDm » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:36 am

Wow, there's a lot of great advice here! I really wish I'd had the financial ability to attend, especially because Chicago is the closest Worldcon will be to my home for a while. Maybe I'll splurge on San Antonio next year because I doubt I'll be able to afford a flight to London in 2014.


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