Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Difficult Choices

By C. LaRene Hall

This past week I attended a Science Fiction/Fantasy Symposium held at BYU. I was only able to attend a couple of days, but the effort was worthwhile. There was so much information given throughout the day it was a difficult choice to decide what would be most beneficial.

I started my adventure bright (well maybe, it was actually too early to tell), and early Friday morning learning about dialogue, and how each character needs their own speech pattern. They encouraged us to write dialogue rather than large paragraphs of telling. I’m reading a book that I’ve almost stopped reading because of the long paragraphs telling instead of showing. I was glad for the reminder I received in this panel discussion.

Next, I was listening to a group of women talking about fairy tales. To this day, they still fascinate me. I would hate to live in a world without them. I now understand why I love them so much. I had never heard that the journey in a fairy tales resonates because it’s the plan of happiness we all recognize. What a beautiful thought.

Orson Scott Card then treated the audience to an intriguing presentation. During his opening remarks, when he said Mormonism is a science fiction religion, I knew I was going to enjoy the next hour. He reminded us that we believe in other worlds.

I also attended a panel discussion about biblical motifs in fantasy. Many comments gave me reason to reflect, I agreed with most of them, such as the bible is a question and answer book. I totally agreed with the comment that fantasy fosters faith. No wonder I love fantasy.

I wasn’t very encouraged as I sat through the discussion of Realities of NY Publishing. There was one encouraging sentence, the more you study the market, and the more you submit the closer you get. They also said that if you write a good book it would sell. The last encouraging thing said was to tell a fabulous story your way.

I’ve never written a romance novel, but decided I’d attend the Putting Romance in Your Novel discussion. Maybe I haven’t tried this because they said romance has to have a happy ending.

I love story settings in the Medieval time period so I was excited to listen to the panel discuss Women of the Fantastic – creating strong, believable female characters in a Medieval fantasy setting. With lots of research, I decided this is a genre I would like to tackle.

The first day was almost over, but I had to attend one more class so I could learn about publishing with a small press. I loved the comment always shoot for the stars, and that is exactly what I’m going to do.

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