Mary Robinette will be at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference from Oct 18-21, 2018, in Surrey, BC, Canada. Tickets here.
Here’s where to find her there!
Thursday, October 18
Master Class – Emotional Realities: Using Specificity to Make Your Work Vivid (requires additional ticket)
9:30am – 12:45 pm
Emotion is one of the trickiest tools on the writer’s workbench. Ignore it, and the most well-plotted scene ends up flat and forgettable. Use it with too heavy a hand, and a scene meant to be moving can tip over into melodrama. Wield it well, and it can elevate a book from merely “good” to “memorable”—the kind of book whose characters and story linger in a reader’s mind and heart long after they have turned the final page. What it often comes down to is specificity. From aspects of personality to setting to language, choosing the right details is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug In this workshop, we look at how to use language, character, and pacing to create vivid emotional realities.
Friday, October 19
Stressing Your Characters
2:15pm – 3:30pm
Everyone has multiple facets of their personality. Some of the most difficult decisions a character has to face are internal, such as the tug between work and family. Even if external circumstances are the catalyst, the conflict comes when a character feels like they will fail in some way. In this workshop, we look at how to pry at the parts of your character’s self-identity in order to create gut-wrenching conflicts.
World building: all writers do it! You may not write SFF, or maybe you do. Either way, you still build the world of your novel as you write. Our panelists discuss their own experiences with world building and how you can strengthen your own so your readers can disappear into your story, away from the real world for awhile.
Panelists: Nalo Hopkinson, Cat Rambo, Stephanie Stein, Rachel Swirsky, Mary Robinette Kowal moderating
Saturday, Oct 20
No Prep Writing: How to use story structure to guide your instincts
10:00am – 11:15am
In this workshop, we’ll take a look at story structure, not with an eye to planning out a story ahead of time, but for helping guide your choices as you write. By thinking consciously about the job of each part of a story, a writer can avoid going down dead-ends and keep their story on track — even without an outline.
A perennial SiWC favourite!
Attendees who want to turn in the first page of their manuscript at the front of the room in the minutes before the session. These are selected at random to read to our panel of agents. When they’d stop reading if the page was a submission, they raise their hands. Two hands, and the reading stops. Then you get to hear why they would – or wouldn’t! – stop.
Presenters: Jennifer Chen Tran, Bess Cozby, Annie Hwang, Nephele Tempest, Mary Robinette Kowal moderating
5:30pm – 7:00pm
Come meet Mary Robinette and the other authors and get your books signed!
Sunday, Oct 21
Writing as Rewriting
11:30am – 12:45pm
You’ve finished the first draft of your novel, but where do you go from here? Join the Whisky Chicks for a discussion of their varied approaches to the process, proving that even at the revision stage, there’s no one way to write. From the use of beta readers for feedback, through the different levels of editing, learn how to turn your draft into a polished manuscript ready to send out into the world.
Presenters: Elizabeth Boyle, Mary Robinette Kowal, Nephele Tempest moderating