TRAVEL HERE: DFW WRITERS’ CONFERENCE – EMOTION AND CONFLICT SEMINARS
Welcome back to my recap of the 2014 DFW Writers’ Conference. Today we’ll visit two of the craft classes I enjoyed, presented by two of DFW Writers’ Workshop’ best.
Even Heroes Get the Blues by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Now if Rosemary had to pick me out of a crowd, I don’t think she’d be able to, but I’ve been observing her for several years. She’s one of the most generous, helpful authors I’ve had the privilege to be associated with. Her family background is in acting, so emotion and emoting is something she has some expertise in. She had some great tips to share, but instead of me trying to summarize it for you, you can go here and see her handouts. The bottom line is one of those things authors hear over and over and over, but we can’t escape the truth of: SHOW DON’T TELL. That’s concept that I understand theorectically, but Rosemary fleshes it out in her notes and she gave us some great exercises to demonstrate what she meant.
Conflict on Every Page by Kristen Lamb
Another hero and champion of the new writer that I met thanks to DFW Writers’ Workshop is Kristen Lamb. If it weren’t for her, you wouldn’t even be reading this blog. The only thing I knew about social media when I met her was how to post a status on Facebook. Twenty thousand views later, I’d say I’ve learned something from her. If you’re a new writer (I’d say aspiring, but Kristen doesn’t allow that) then start with We Are Not Alone and follow your nose.
At this conference she was all about conflict. According to her, every book needs a “core story problem…proportional to the length of the work.” In other words, this is the why of the book and the more succintly you can describe the core story problem, the better your book is probably going to be.
Most of us know the protagonist is the main character, but we find the antagonist more challenging. But my book really doesn’t have a bad guy, you’re thinking. Kristen pointed out that the antagonist doesn’t have to be a bad guy, just the “Big Boss Troublemaker,” and that could be the protagonist’s best friend, as in a certain movie with orange and white fish in it. In fact, even when they’re not the BBT, best friends can add a lot of conflict, like a certain movie series with hobbits in it.
Whatever the core story problem is, the writer’s job is to “make it worse until you make it weird.” Really, Kristen talks like that. Kristen will help your social media presense and your writing. Go to her blog and start your journey.