I’ve spent the last few days at the RWA Conference, held this year on the Gold Coast. This conference offers some remarkable opportunities for new and emerging writers, not least of which are the pitch sessions with agents, editors and publishers. The place is bursting with key industry professionals!
I’ve rubbed shoulders with leading authors in my genre, and attended some of the best imaginable professional development sessions. The most useful of these by far was Screenwriting Tricks for Authors, presented by Alexandra Sokoloff. She began her career in the theatre, moved to screen-writing, and is now a bestselling author of seven supernatural, paranormal and crime thrillers. She teaches novelists how to apply the tricks of film pacing and suspense, character arc and drive, visual storytelling, and building image systems. Her advice is simple and practical, such as just where in your novel the dramatic set pieces should fall, thus avoiding altogether that dreaded mid-book slump. This system works to structure and color your novel for maximum emotional impact, suspense and riveting pacing, no matter what genre you’re writing in. I can’t wait to analyse my work in the light of this new information
Last night’s Awards Dinner saw me sitting at a table with, among others, leading writers in my genre such as Fiona Palmer, Cathryn Hein and Rachael Johns. My lovely publisher, Belinda Byrne was there, along with the legendary Rachael Treasure, and Penguin publishing buddies Helene Young and Kathryn Ledson. It was a fabulous evening, topped off by Helene Young (my blog guest last week) winning Romantic Book of the Year for Shattered Sky. This is the second year in a row that she has won in this category. Congratulations Helene! … and congratulations to the organisers of this fabulous conference, all volunteers I might add. It has been a stunning success.
Now I need to prepare for the next exciting event in my writing life – the launch next Saturday of Brumby’s Run by Andrea Goldsmith at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival (2.30 pm 25th August.) Free event. All Welcome!