I might officially be a real writer.
"Cods!" you might say. "You've been writing seriously and submitting (and being rejected - sorry about that bit) for over a year now!"
True. But last Saturday I felt like a real writer.
On May 15th in Adelaide, our fair and only slightly grimy city, Romance Writers of Australia held one of their Australian Roadshows, called 'Romancing the Novel'. SARA (South Australian Romance Authors) hosted it at the SA Writer's Centre.
Yvonne Lindsay and rapt attendees. How pretty is the Writer's Centre?
I've met a few of the SARA people before, and thought I should like to go along (aka I was DYING to go).
Moi, and Anna Campbell
Yvonne Lindsay and Anna Campbell were the main drawcards, and there was also some very excellent local talent - Elizabeth Rolls, Trish Morey, Claire Baxter, Anne Oliver & Christina Carlisle.
So, I duly downloaded a few eBooks from these authors (I had previously only read Anne Oliver). I got stuck on Elizabeth Rolls' LORD BRAYBROOK'S PENNILESS BRIDE (I didn't want to rush it - very good), and was only a few pages into Yvonne's DEFIANT MISTRESS, RUTHLESS MILLIONAIRE when the highly-awaited day arrived.
The aforementioned 'rapt audience'. That's me in my most romantic pink jacket, far right. :)
Eleni had hooked me up with another local writer who was also new to SARA, the very lovely Carol, and we drove in together. That is to say, Carol drove and I talked. This required a 6:50am house departure. Something I wasn't entirely certain I could do, what with kids and stuff. But, I was actually early! How about that? :)
We found our doorway when we met Amy T Matthews & Maggie Mundy:
The day started with a cracker-bang and just got better and better.
Anna and Yvonne started us off with a 'Secrets of a Best-Selling Romance' session. I have been reading Deb Dixon's GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict), and they spoke about just that, and had us looking at those elements in our own works in progress, which actually made me question the GMC in my current wip more than reading Dixon's book did.
Yvonne and Anna spoke about Flimmers (Flying into the mist, Pantsers) or the opposite, Plotters. Funnily, Yvonne is a master plotter and Anna at the other end of the spectrum. These two spoke together really beautifully and it was interesting to see their differing working/speaking styles. They both had us giggling all day long!
Without going into fan-girl detail, there were sessions on characters, and and excellent one on Emotional Punch (incorporating Deep Point of View) with Anna that was excellent. I have always tried to keep right inside my characters' heads, running the risk of bogging the story down. I'm now going to be more mindful of where I am doing what kind of writing - keeping the Deep POV for more emotive scenes, not just delving into it whenever I fancy.
Yvonne & myself...
Anna also had a great section where she talked about writers' tendencies to concentrate on those senses that were most prevalent in their psyche (eg sight, touch) in their writing. We talked about a major scene in out wips and made lists of the things the character felt, heard, saw, tasted, and smelled. My biggest list was definitely sight, the others were dead even. So, I know now to use the other senses in my writing as much as I talk about what the character's SEE. Wow. Great stuff.
In fact, there was so much superb stuff to take away, that my head was spinning, but it was all GREAT information. Luckily, I took copious notes on loglines, high concept, great authors, writing styles, resources, filter words, voice, genres and publishers.
Told ya - was lots. :)
Christina Carlisle held a quick but meaty session on ePubs - I really wanted to meet her, as I'm friends with her nephew. She was delightful, and a fountain of knowledge.
I met some lovely people, aside from the authors, including Bronwyn Stuart who lives close by, and is responsible for some of the fab pics on this post. Thanks, Bronwyn. (My pics are the fuzzy ones, let's just get that straight. :) You can see more on her blog at her webbie.
This is Bronwyn with Anna Campbell, who affectionately calls the former "Stalkey"
SO - the intention is - get my tush to SARA meetings and join RWA (GASP! I know! But, if I'm a member, they won't let me judge for R*BY, which might make me cry - I will join soon ((see above re 'real writer')).
Sadly, I could not join the crew at Eros restaurant for dinner, but I was home on Twitter when news of Anna Campbell's massive ARRA gong came through, so that was cool...
Fortunately, lunch was very tasty, as were the morning and afternoon teas. Donuts? No argument. :)
Speaking of tasty, there was also the goody bags and the novel stash. Ten books, nearly half of them author-signed. With MY NAME in it. SQUEEE!
Congrats to SARA and RWA for holding such a fabulicious seminar. See you next time.