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January 2014
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Legendary ConFusion Arrival and Schedule

We have arrived at ConFusion. The real programming will begin tomorrow afternoon, but the visiting has already begun. Sometimes I am able to blog in the spaces of a convention, other times I go quiet online for the duration. This is one of the heaviest scheduled conventions I’ve ever had, so quiet seems likely. I am truly excited for each of these program items. They did a fantastic job scheduling me. If your at ConFusion this weekend, I hope you’ll take time to say hello.

Bechdel, Mako Mori, and the “Strong Female Character”

Sandra Tayler, Mike Underwood, Brigid Collins, Rae Carson, Christian Klaver
6pm Friday – Southfield

A female character is not strong just because she can kick someone in the head. What are the limitations of the Bechdel Test (2 female characters have a conversation about something other than a male character)? How does the Mako Mori test come into play? And when did the notion of a “strong character”–meaning a rounded character with agency and a backstory–get replaced by simple physical strength? How does all of this apply beyond female characters and move into representations of other marginalized groups?

Covers and blurbs for the self published
Sandra Tayler, Janet Harriett, J. C. Daniels, Laura Resnick, Rich Morris, Gretchen Ash
10am Saturday – Erie

One of the benefits of working with a publisher is all that they do to promote the book. Blurbs, reviews, and cover art do a lot to sell a book. When seeking to self publish, these aspects are just as important. This panel will discuss some of the best strategies for getting the most out of your options with marketing your work.

11am Saturday
Join these authors for a reading of their work and a Q&A session, Rae Carson and Sandra Tayler

Hybrid Publishing
Lucy A. Snyder, John Klima, Sandra Tayler, Howard Tayler, Tobias Buckell
1pm Saturday – Southfield
Self-publishing is here to stay. Traditional publishing is still going strong. What do the people who who do both have to share about their experiences?

Why is Wonder Woman so tricky?
4pm Saturday

Writing Realistic Children with Sandra Tayler
9am Sunday – Warren
Join Sandra Tayler for readings and discussion on the topic of Writing Realistic Children. Sandra will begin the hour by reading a few examples of children in fiction, those done well and a few not so well. Then Sandra will lead a discussion about writing children, what works, what doesn’t, developmental stages, and how all of these things should affect your plot. Bring your best thoughts to share.

The Writing Family
with Ron Collins, Brigid Collins, Sandra Tayler, and Howard Tayler
11am Sunday – Rotunda

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a family of authors? Stop by and ask. How does having someone so close in the same field make things easier? More difficult?

Will Work for Food
Laura Resnick, Wesley Chu, Sandra Tayler, Ron Collins, Sarah Gibbons
12pm Sunday – Southfield

Writers can be an easily exploited group. Unscrupulous people sometimes prey on that fact, asking for free work on the promise of exposure. Why do people make that assumption, and why are they often able to find people to buy into it? Why has the professional per word pay rate not risen in decades? What do people generally just not understand about the value of writing as work?

3 comments to Legendary ConFusion Arrival and Schedule

  • Jonathan Boynton

    Hey, I had a question for you based on the panels you were doing… do you know of any resources for writing from the perspective of a child in short fiction or long fiction? I have a story idea, but it needs some research before I can even consider really tackling it. If not, no worries. 🙂

    • I’m afraid I don’t have any specific resources. I was mostly speaking from experience with children and from my knowledge of human development both typical and atypical. One thing you need to be certain to do is find out about the developmental stage of your protagonist. There are things that are typical of a six year old that would be highly unusual for a nine year old. They just see and think about the world in different ways because of their differing developmental stages. During the panel the American Association of Pediatrics was referenced as a good resource to learn about developmental stages. Hope that helps.