The 25-word synopsis of of my novel EVE320 caused quite a buzz at the La Jolla Writers Conference. It’s exciting to see such interest in an idea that I developed. If I can just pull off the story, then I might have something.
This is my second year attending the La Jolla Writers Conference. Antoinette Kuritz and her son Jared Kuritz put on a fantastic event with big names. This year, New York Times Best selling Author James Rollins, New York Times Best selling Author Margaret Weis, and New York Times Best selling Author Christopher Reich were the keynote speakers. I attended two of James Rollins’ classes and one of Christopher Reich’s classes. They were all excellent.
However, I learned the most important thing from Mark Clements. He had a class called Fear Is The Key. Here is the blurb:
Regardless of the genre, all writing requires an element of fear to make the plot, characters, or theme compelling. We will examine both conventional and unconventional methods of incorporating fear as a central part of a character’s development.
That was revolutionary knowledge for me. I recently got laid off from my job. The girl that I was dating seemed okay with the idea that I was looking for a new job–at first. However, two days after I returned from the conference she broke off the relationship. I realize now that it was her fear that was driving her decision. Even though she had mentioned the importance of a partner supporting her throughout life’s roller coaster bumps, her own fear was overwhelming. It prevented her from providing the same support for another person.
Lesson learned? Don’t only think about what your character WANTS. Also think about what your character is AFRAID might happen. It’ll give you new insight into the mind your character. Excellent class, Mark!
I strongly recommend the La Jolla Writers Conference.
– Brennan Harvey