Yes, I am speaking (singing) about RWA Heart of the West Conference.
It was rad for so many reasons. I'm actually having a bit of a conference hangover because my brain is so jam-packed full of awesomeness. But I feel the need to bullet point this one out. So, here's what I learned in Park City this weekend:
- Pitch sessions. I wasn't 100% ready to pitch this weekend, but I did it anyway, and it was so worth it. Not only was I given the opportunity to discuss my project, but ask the agents other questions about the market and where I would fit in it. I couldn't be any more stoked about my chat with the agents.
- Social Networking. I hung out with a bunch of my closest writing friends. We ate M&M's together, brainstormed with each other, embarrassed ourselves ad nauseum, and of course...hot tubbed it out. Not only that, but the actual class entitled "Building Your Social Platform" was also helpful. Tips like 1) make your name your brand; 2) use a current professional headshot for your profile; 3) use the same professional name for all social forums (if I am Jessie Humphries on my blog, I better not be Jessie Coon-Humphries on Facebook).
- Craft classes. Not scrapbooking or quilts! I mean the craft of writing. My favorite class was Rachelle J. Christensen's on Suspense. Oh man, was this good. If I had to pick out one thing that seemed the most valuable to me was that suspense is what keeps the readers turning pages. It has to exist on some level in every single scene in your book. Every single scene!
- Great speakers. One of the most interesting speakers was Lani Diane Rich from Storywonk.com. My favorite part was when she talked about different kinds of heroes and heroines. There's the Alpha Hero (tough, smart, take charge), Beta Hero (sensitive, emotional, cerebral), Alpha Heroine (strong, capable, dominant), and Beta Heroine (reliable, loyal, sweet). You can't have two Alphas or two Betas, otherwise they wont seem like a compatible, believable pair. Both have to possess vulnerabilities and strengths that compliment one another. I guess I knew that, but not so clearly. Not so charted out.