Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Best of Sleuthfest 2011

Just back from an amazing Sleuthfest. Whew. I am zonked. That's a photo of Meg Gardiner and me, and I think we both look a bit tired. I know my head is reeling with thoughts, inspiration, and motivation. Here are some of the "keeper" tidbits from this weekend:

"Your job from the beginning is to create a bond between (your) character and the reader." Michael Koryta

"Are your characters conflicted? Internal turmoil and conficted emotions create compelling and unpredictable characters. We're not confident in anticipating their decisions, because we don't know which emotion or motivation will win out in the moment of crisis." Michael Koryta

"It's not the way the detective works the case that matters.It's the way the case works on the detective." Michael Connelly

"Genre (stories) are focused on ur stories, the things above and beyond, about something that's so important to us that we want to hear it again and again." S.J. Rozan

"Start (your book) as close to the end as possible. Trust that your readers are smart." Meg Gardiner

"If you aren't involved in the characters, you won't care about the plot." James O. Born

"I've had (someone at) a pitch appointment throw up on my shoes." Denise Little, agent

"Publishers tend to want work that is more more polished than in past years." Jason Pinter, agent

"One of the pluses about selling a book to a traditional publisher is that you have a team." Meg Ruley, agent

"It takes a little fairy dust (to make a book a success)." Jason Pinter, agent

"Great characters will get you readers, but great plots will expand your readership." Meg Gardiner quoting her editor

"Inspiration is not necessary nor sufficient to start/expand a career." Meg Gardiner

"If you are going to be a writer, I commend you for your bravery. I find it harder and harder to write a novel, not easier." Dennis Lehane

"When in doubt, just tell the *bleeping* story." Dennis Lehane

"Think of story as being a journey, and plot as being the car. All I care about is that the car is servicable." Dennis Lehane

"What's the dramatic pain?" Dennis Lehane


signlady217 said...

Joanna--you may have been tired, but my first thought was how very pretty and sweet you looked.

On second thought, the same. :)

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Aw, that's awfully sweet of you!

Emilie Richards said...

What valuable advice and wonderful quotes.

Betty Hechtman said...

Lots of interesting quotes. Tell the bleeping story resonated with me.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Very interesting and inspirational quotes, Joanna. Thanks for sharing them!

Monica Ferris said...

There's a lot of solid information in those quotes. I hope someone who has never been to a con reads them and is inspired to go to one.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Emilie, it was good for me to recap some of what I learned. I'm happy to share.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Betty, I think that's more wisdom than it might appear at first. We get too hung up and don't get our narrative down. Story is most important of all!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Linda, you are welcome.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Monica, I think if we all shared our "keepers" from conferences, it would be a great way to remind ourselves and others of all the good stuff we pick up. Beyond these ideas, I made great contacts, new friends, renewed friendships, and reignited my passion.