Life, the Universe, & Everything 2013

What is LTUE?

Only THE biggest fantasy and science fiction writer’s convention ever!  This year’s Life, the Universe, & Everything symposium was held at the Mariott hotel in downtown Provo (You’ve heard of Provo, the same town that Neon Trees is from).   Our guests of honor were
Megan Whalen Turner (The Thief)
Larry Correia (Monster Hunter International)
David Farland (Runelords)
Tracy & Laura Hickman (Dragonlance)
James A. Owen (Here, There Be Dragons)
Eric James Stone
Brad R. Torgersen.

We attended three solid days’ worth of panels on writing science fiction and fantasy.  We had some amazing discussions, and did a lot of good networking with friends, and met new colleagues.  We also picked up two new members in our writer’s group.

For this month’s Writer’s Ramble post, we decided to pick a panel that we found interesting, and write about it.

Writers of the Future
Tom Abbott
We had one hour to sit down with David Farland, coordinating judge for L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest and thoroughly pick his brain.  Also in this panel were contest super-stars Eric James Stone, and Brad R. Torgersen.  We came away with some great insights on how to do better in the contest, and hopefully improve our odds at winning.  How many people submit to WotF each quarter?  What does Honorable Mention, Semi-finalist, and Finalist mean?  What kinds of things are the judges looking for?

Overcoming (Writing) Adversity
Heidi Thornock
Do you have a super-busy schedule? Is it difficult for you to find time to dedicate to your writing career? If so, then you are like most of us. However, I was especially feeling discouraged with my lack of progress, so I made a special effort to attend the panel on Overcoming Adversity. Read my full post to find the advice -- and encouragement -- from successful writers on how to structure your life to include this crazy thing we do called writing.

Writing Effective Teasers
Heidi Wilde
So, you've finished your book. Now you need to get people to read it! Writing a book and writing an effective teaser actually use different writing muscles. Come read the pointers I gleaned from attending Howard Tayler's Teaser panel.

Everything I Need to Know About Writing I Learned From The Matrix
Josh Morrey
I learned a ton at LTUE. But the most in depth panel I attended was J. Scott Savage's lecture about how The Matrix can teach you everything you need to know about creating a gripping and compelling tale. In this post I break down the many elements of this story that make it great, list six ways to increase the tension of your story, and share with you a valuable lesson that in all my years of studying writing I'd never heard before.