My GenCon 2017 Seminar Schedule

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Hey gang,

I’m gearing up to head to GenCon next month, and I thought I’d share my schedule with all y’all. As I have in previous years, I’m delivering various writing seminars, including one new one, through the Writers Symposium. For those who might like to attend some, the seminars build upon one another roughly and so are in rough order of complexity (100-level, 200, 300, etc.). I also have several panel discussions I’ll be on.

You can find the full list of Symposium attendees, panels, and seminars at the Writers Symposium web page. For convenience, here’s my list (all times Eastern), including the room where the panel/seminar is being held and a description:

Thursday 10am – Cabinet – Mastering Fiction – Brainstorming Your Way to a Breakout Novel

Novels begin with an idea, and the bigger the idea, the more likely you are to attract the notice of agents, editors, and readers. In this seminar, learn techniques that can help you generate your Big Idea from the start, which will help to guide you to writing a novel that will stand out from the crowd.

Thursday 3pm – Cabinet – Mastering Fiction – Plotting Techniques of the Professional Writer

Plotting is one of the more difficult disciplines to master in writing. Some writers have an innate sense of what makes a story work, but most writers, particularly those early in their apprenticeships, will benefit from plotting. This seminar focuses on various plotting techniques, from basic structural concepts, initial plotting and eventual refinement, how to break the dreaded writer’s block and how to avoid it in the first place.

Thursday 4pm – Cabinet – Mastering Fiction – The Structure of Scenes

Well-structured scenes make for compelling storytelling. How can you construct powerful scenes? And how do you string scenes together to create a vivid and stirring piece of writing? In this seminar, you’ll learn how to structure scenes that work, whether you’re writing a short story or the next breakout novel.

Thursday 7pm – Capital I – Writer’s Craft: How to Find YOUR Voice

Panel on finding your voice with Patrick Rothfuss, Alaya Dawn Johnson, and Howard Tayler. Promises to be a good one.

Friday 10am – Cabinet – Mastering Fiction – Tension on Every Page: Ways to Create a Page-turning Novel

Tension is one of the basic building blocks of modern day fiction. If you know how to lay the seeds of tension, and how to coax them, you can transform your fiction from merely noteworthy to exceptional. In this seminar, the different types of tension are discussed, as well as ways to maximize them to keep your reader glued to the page.

Friday 4pm – Cabinet – Mastering Fiction – Connective Tissue: Advanced Techniques to Create Stories that Resonate

In writing, there are many different techniques that are rarely discussed together. Foreshadowing, parallel threads, theme, tone, character building, and more. In this seminar, these topics are discussed from the viewpoint of strengthening the story as a whole, taking a story that feels loose and directionless and working with the material that’s already there to make it strong and vibrant.

Friday 5pm – Cabinet – Mastering Fiction – Pattern Recognition: Challenging Your Readers to Create Stories that Compel

The ability to recognize patterns is a basic human trait. We use it over and over again in our fiction. This seminar discusses how to use patterns to your benefit by both setting and breaking expectations. Learn how to draw your reader in by challenging their expectations, and take character building, plot progression, plot twists and setbacks, and world building to the next level.

Saturday 11am – Cabinet – Mastering Fiction – It’s All Entertainment: Crafting a Story that’s Fun to Read

It’s easy while writing to focus on the mechanics of writing and forget that fiction is a form of entertainment. Writers can become lost in topics of theme, characterization, plotting, or even the line-by-line writing, while forgetting to accentuate the things that make people want to read books in the first place. This seminar discusses the entertainment value of writing, and the techniques you can use to maximize each page for a more engrossing, emotional, page-turning read.

Saturday Noon – Chamber – Writing 101: Themes—What’s a Theme and Do You Need One?

Panel discussion with Beth Cato, Howard Andrew Jones, and me. Looking forward to diving into this topic!

Saturday 2pm – Book Signing at the Exhibit Hall Author’s Signing Area!

Come say hi!

Saturday 6pm – Writer Cage Fight: Self Pub or Traditional Pub

Panel discussion with John Helfers, Gail Z. Martin, Maxwell Alexander Drake, and me! Always a fun topic to dig into. Sparks may fly!

That’s it my friends! The whole shebang.

I hope to see you there!