For those who don't know, LTUE, short for "Life, The Universe, & Everything", is a Speculative fiction writing conference that takes place in Utah every year. I've been several times now, and... I've gotta be honest, I didn't learn a whole lot from the experience. The first year I went was amazing, but after going to a bunch of these things you're really just reinforcing things you've heard before.
This is not to say there weren't some great panels, discussions, and presentations. There were. I went to one on disabilities in fiction that stuck with me, for instance. And I tried something I'd never done before: pitch in person.
From the start I was picturing some big empty room with me standing there pitching to Mr. Important Publisher as he sat aloof. Even being told this was not going to happen, I secretly believed it would. Instead, the kind man asked me to take a seat and we went over my query and talked about publishing. We got an incredible amount of talking in for only having 10 minutes, and he kept my query and entire first scene, while I walked out with a business card and instructions for submitting my work. Success! (Sort of. Now to actually read it...)
Stuff you should probably know about being a writer already (but I'll say it anyway):
- Write. That's what makes you a writer, so just do it already.
- Your story needs to have a beginning, middle, and end. You wouldn't believe how many people forget this basic fact. I've read a lot of stuff that has no ending, and a lot of newer books are hard to get into because the proper beginning is absent (in favor of drama!). It hurts.
- If you try to be too clever and draw attention to yourself, it ruins the illusion of the world you're trying to create.
- Know the usual rules and why they exist before you go around breaking them. And then murder those rules lovingly.
And with that, I leave you. Peace.