I am posting my Friday Favorites on the last Friday of the month (this time), instead of the first! The month got away from me, with the RMFW conference and birthdays and life.
This month, I thought it would be fun to share some of things things I took away from RMFW (Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers) conference. I learned so much as a writer, and had so many wonderful experiences, so I will share only the highlights! (All of this is paraphrased and taken from my notes.)
Sherry Thomas, Romance 101
• Characters in conflict is the engine of your story – it drives your story forward.
• Characters must be introduced and conflict must be established as early in your book as possible.
• Dialogue should be used to further conflict.
• The first page sells this book – the last page sells the next.
James Hunter, The Villain’s Story
• Villains should have moral quandaries.
• Villains need nuances to be good villains.
• Protagonists / Antagonists are two sides of a coin, who play by different rules.
• Your Antagonists should have strengths that can exploit your Protagonists’ weaknesses. They should be each other’s opposites.
Bonnie Ramthun, How to Write a Breathtaking Action Sequence
• Raise the stakes – life or death.
• Suspense happens when the reader knows something the characters in the scene do not.
• Start emotions in a place where you can build from.
• Use flashing glimpses instead of lingering observations.
Diana Gabaldon (the author of Outlander!), Immersion: The Best Books Are Made of Quicksand and White Space: You Think It’s All About Words
• Don’t tell your readers anything they don’t need to know in that moment.
• There should be at least one action in each paragraph. Even small actions, like body language, create immersion.
• Create a cascade of questions that makes the reader want answers. They can be small questions that are answered quickly, but they will make the reader keep reading.
• A good sex scene is about the exchange of emotions. You don’t need to show much for them to feel deeply.
• You want friction in your fiction.
• Sometimes if you plan too much before entering a major scene, it loses its juice.
Thea Hutcheson, Fishing For Readers: How to Hook Em
• You have about 150 words to hook your reader before you lose them (agent, editor, reader).
• Sensory details light up the brain.
• Remember the first 150 words technique for the beginning of every scene/chapter.
Susan Spann, Coal to Diamonds
• When you finish writing for the day, try to stop right before something exciting happens, so you are excited to write the next day.
• Leave your chapters unresolved.
I would love to hear your thoughts on these notes! Which ones do you find the most helpful?
Finally, here are some cute pics of me and Brianna having the best weekend ever!