I've spent the month of June walking you through pieces of my conference experience. By now, you know I had a great time (hello, understatement), but now it's time to wrap it up.
At the end of the May 2011 Backspace Conference, I hugged a lot of great, new friends, exchanged tons of cards, and promised to stay in touch. But beyond that, I promised myself to bring it all home. The lessons, the tips, the tricks, the details, the BOOKS, just everything, and apply it to my writing.
So, what did I do?
I pulled out my much-loved MS and a blank Word doc and started a rewrite. At about 25,000 words, here are the biggest changes.
1. Destroy the backstory/flashbacks. (SO tough!)
2. Start the story where the story begins.
3. Tone down the description. Be concise.
4. Make my MS more likeable. Snarky's great until it steps over the line to annoying/depressing.
5. Cut some of the extra characters. As Mr. King writes, kill your darlings.
6. Tension on every page (thank you, Mr. Maass)
I'm enjoying the first draft process and learning that, yes, I'll be able to do it again after this first book. That's an encouraging feeling and something I was really wondering about before the conference.
If you've felt the conferencing itch, there's a condensed Backspace Conference in November. All agents. 100 writers. Two query workshops and two first pages workshops with panel discussions sprinkled in. I'm still on the fence, but the early bird rate runs until the end of August.
Thanks for letting me share some of my conference fun. I'd love to hear your stories too!