Three days of revelatory seminar sessions, meeting friends and colleagues, good food and an Olympic length swimming pool in the gorgeous Gaylord Conference Center in Maryland, overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.
For me the most enlightening workshops were by Alma Katsu: Upping the Ante: Creating and sustaining conflict. A former intelligence analyst, she posited four kinds of conflict (the central question the main character needs to solve; then the impediments: chronic and external; internal; transient). Every scene requires one kind of conflict to keep readers invested and turning the page. She challenged us to find where we met or fail her standard in our own wok.
My other favourite session was by Teel James Glenn: Writing Fights. Both an author and choreographer of film fight scenes, he placed violence and the threat of violence securely within the frame of character and emotion. Given the battle and fight scenes in y novel, The Reversible Mask, I found his approach very helpful. He lives in New York, and HNS NY Chapter will be thrilled to welcome him as a member.
Late this week I’ll be at the International Thriller Writers Association conference in New York. Stay tuned.