BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


My CDs from the RWA National Conference in San Francisco arrived yesterday and I loaded it on my iPod last night. I started listening today at work. The first workshop was a disappointment because the title led me to expect one topic, but it didn't go that direction. I had the sense that the panel went off on a tangent and never got back on track, but maybe I just misinterpreted what they meant to talk about. That's always possible.

I loved the second workshop I listened to, I even plugged my iPod in on the ride home so I could listen to it! I can't remember the exact title, something about writing a trilogy by Susan Mallery, but if you have the conference CDs, too, I can recommend listening to this one. She was a very entertaining presenter, and while I instinctively knew most of what she talked about, it was good to hear it 1) spoken aloud and 2) have a good, solid overview of trilogies.

My Light Warrior series is pretty much open ended, but I do kind of have a vague arc that I'm using. Okay, it's very vague, I know that, but it keeps me kind of centered as I write the stories. I'm also a seat of the pants writer. Maybe not to the degree I was 6 years ago, but I definitely don't get into the whole plotting in minute detail thing. Ugh! I am, though, trying to improve my plotting abilities.

Now I'm off on a tangent. Anyway, I do have an idea for a trilogy that I want to work on after I turn in my current Work In Progress (WIP) and that's what prompted me to listen to this particular workshop. The coolest thing for me was hearing so many things in this workshop that I was already doing in my plans for the trilogy. I don't mean like the logistics of keeping track of everything--I have my own methods of that, plus I'm the teensiest bit obsessive/compulsive about details, I'm not worried about that--what I'm talking about is the structure of putting together a trilogy.

For instance, all three books have an arc with an over-arc for the entire set. I learned that from reading and had it reinforced on the 2176 and Crimson City series. There was also mention of the different kinds of payoffs the over-arc can have. I've got the "Big Bad" as Susan Mallery called it. The evil of evil beings.

One of the most interesting things she said was to take your favorite couple and put them in the middle book. I found that intriguing and I understand completely the rationale behind it and it's logical. But I don't think it will work for me because my characters talk when it's time for their story. Liza and Jack are the ones talking, so I don't know the other two couples to have a favorite among them, and even if I wanted to, I can't write characters that aren't yakking away. By the time I can figure out who my favorite couple is, I'll have all three books written.

There was only one problem with the workshop. It made me want to work on the proposal for my trilogy idea instead of the book I'm under contract for. :-/ I don't have time to work out the fine points of the arc and think about some of the other things that Susan brought up. I need to be immersing myself in Kel and his heroine's story. Sigh. I didn't think I'd get all fired up like this.

Anyway, to sum up. Great workshop and presented wonderfully. Thumbs up.