D. Pat Thomas

Writer, Yoga Teacher, Lover of Things Outdoors


Utah Talent Unites

Posted by Pat on

The League of Utah Writer’s Fall Conference is a gathering of uncommonly talented writers. The field is heavy with fantasy and science fiction authors, but a smattering of folks who write thrillers, memoir, horror and other genres make the group diverse and interesting.

A recurring theme was the importance of story structure. We should start in the middle of our stories, build an arc into every relationship, hide the problem from the protagonist, strain relationships and never let the final plan lead to the final solution. Betrayal is always good. We should view our audience as a particular person and write for him/her.

More pointers: conversation is always combat, in every single line. The stakes become more complicated as the story intensifies. For example: the press learns, the victory is not pure, a dog or child becomes involved or the protagonist must choose who will die. Moral dilemma is wonderful.

The conference has sessions of the business of writing as well. Did you know that Amazon has a Kindle Scout Program to surface and highlight new books? They will give you an awesome start if you are selected.

Blogs do not sell books. Facebook, Facebook parties and responding every time you are mentioned do help. You can buy ads in Book Bug or do a free promo in Bub. E-reader News Today also has ads.

Another tidbit: bankruptcy clauses in contracts are totally unenforceable. Publishers will insist on them, but it’s silly. Publishers commonly get a first right of refusal on your next book, though it can be restricted to a certain genre. If you decide to publish independently, it’s recommended you start an LCC.

In other news, I won my first writing award in the rather intense writing competition. I’m told that now makes me an Award Winning Writer. How cool is that?


Categories: Conference Notes