Monday, August 10, 2009

Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference - Part I

On Thursday morning, at 6:00 A.M. sharp, my friends, Eva and Leslie, arrived at my house. With all the girl talk, the one-hour drive seemed like ten minutes. After breakfast and the opening session, we split up to attend our classes.

The first Continuing Session began at 10:15 A.M. I chose, "Write From The Start," taught by Larry Leech, II. His relaxed, interactive teaching style put me at ease.

My favorite session centered on the fine art of interviewing. After teaching the principles of how to obtain and conduct an interview, he asked two classmates to demonstrate. We learned a lot about the interviewee and were impressed by the interviewer's skills. Larry then selected yours truly to interview the tough cookie (him), who wouldn't part with more than a basic answer. I surprised him with a tough question halfway through the interview, and got a "gold star" for my efforts. Such fun!

Majoring in the Minors, taught by Christa Parrish, focused on how to flesh out secondary characters and weed out those, who did not add to the story. She mentioned a manuscript that had several characters with names starting with "J." Something in my brain clicked, and I began a list of my characters. Oops, six of them started with that letter...a little confusing and weird for the reader.

Have you interviewed anyone over the phone or in person? What was the experience like for you?

Are all of you mentally checking your manuscript for names beginning with the same letter? I found it surprising that my mind gravitated to so many "J" names.

Tomorrow, I'll do an extra post to finish up my report on the Philly Conference. Have a great day!

18 comments:

Jody Hedlund said...

Sounds like you had a great time of learning! You are blessed to be only an hour away from such a big conference! Looking forward to hearing the rest of your experience!

Jessica said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful time!

I just met Larry a few weeks back in Orlando at an ACFW meeting. He was very nice and very smart. Great guy. Congrats to you for the surprise, tough question! LOL That must've been fun.

I actually used to interview people all of the time over the phone when I freelanced for my newspaper. Sometimes I met them in person, but over the phone was easier because I could write as they spoke without having to make eye contact. Fun stuff! :-)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Susan: I'm so happy you got to attend this conference, and the fun times you had there.
We won't even think about the unfun times; they don't count.
Rachelle Gardener has a lovely, wise post today on subjectivity; so encouraging to those who've gotten some negative feedback.
Blessings on you, my dear,
Jen

Cindy said...

Sounds like you're having a good time so far. I noticed in the manuscript I'm editing, I had two names (of secondary characters) that started with K. The names were so close, I finally ended up changing one of them because it was confusing.

Jaime said...

Sounds like the conference was a great experience!!! I haven't interviewed anyone formally. I am interviewing Lyn Cote for my blog on Aug 13 - hope I do ok! :)

Karen Lange said...

Susan, Glad you had a great time. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the details! Blessings:)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

LOL! I didn't even think of writing down his answers. He encouraged everyone to record their interviews with the subject's permission.

Watch for an extra post tomorrow. It's tough to condense an entire conference into a single report. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jody -

There were definitely some valuable take-aways. With the conference so close, I've made it a priority to get there every year. This was my 5th or 6th year. (I've lost track.)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

Thanks for the heads-up on Rachelle's post. I'll be sure to read it.

I recently heard a speaker talk about how we focus on the 10% that's negative and forget about the 90% that's positive. Your advice is sound for anyone attending a conference.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Cindy -

I'm a bit perturbed about changing all those "J" names. I guess I'll have to give up some of my SOTP techniques and learn how to keep track of the characters.

I think I'd notice six "J" names on individual character sketches. When they're sprinkled through a manuscript, it doesn't always catch the eye. Sure didn't catch mine! LOL!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's blogs. While I enjoyed the conference, I missed all of you. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jaime -

I'm sure you'll do fine. My own style is more conversational than formal. I try to think of questions all of you might want to ask or that would give you handy tips for your own writing.

BTW, every time I got a tiny piece of paper towel, I thought of you and your recent post. People must have thought I was either very happy or crazy with that silly smile on my face.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Leslie said...

This is the first time I heard about the interviewing class and that you had to interview the instructor! Way to go!

I didn't even turn my computer on yesterday, let alone do a post about the conference. I just finished writing my "'I Get To' Tuesdays" post for tomorrow. I put a note at the bottom of it saying I'll post about the conference soon.

I'm so glad that I got to meet you and Eva. It was a fun time! I'll send you an email with my home address.

Blessings, Leslie

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Leslie -

I was on a roll last night - stayed up until 1 A.M. writing blog posts. At the moment, it's 12:14 A.M.

I'm so glad we met in person. Facebook is neat, but seeing someone for real is better. Hmm, maybe that's how it's going to feel when we finally get to see Jesus.

Talk to you soon. :)

Blessings,
Susan

quietspirit said...

Susan:
I'm sure you came home with a lot of ideas. I have been to two writer's conferences: one was largely secular, the other was Christian.

I am going to your next post in a second.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

Did you find the secular conference helpful? Did they have editor appointments?

Blessings,
Susan :)

quietspirit said...

Susan:
Yes, the secular one had appointments with editors. I didn't apply for any. The one lady in our group misundetstoodand didn't take anything for the editor to read. She asked permission for those in our group to sit in and we asked questions of the editor.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

Thanks for the info. I wondered if they had a format similar to the Christian conferences.

Blessings,
Susan :)