After the Willamette Writers Conference 2015 in Portland, OR

With trepidation, my colleague and I arrived at the conference site late Thursday afternoon. We hadn’t planned to do pitches with agents or publishers and that (temporarily) lightened our discomfort. Attending an excellent writers’ conference is a boost and a “get going” kick in the butt, and we were not disappointed.

We talked to people from Washington, Texas, and Utah. This conference is well respected and draws notable authors and presenters from across the country. Three full days and an edifying evening on Thursday to hear pitch practice with comments from agents were helpful. Thus, our busy learning week began.

After arriving home Sunday night, friends asked how it went. I happily reported that I had bad news and good news. The bad news was that much of the back story of my characters should not be included unless it moves the plot. (Oops, a chunky part of the novel evaporated.) The good news was that I came home with renewed enthusiasm and perspective. Larry Brooks’s competencies and refocus on effective writing rocked me back. I highly recommend his books, Story Engineering and Story Physics. He breathed a fresh, new direction for my novel.

Thank you, Larry and the many competent presenters, organizers and volunteers. The conference was terrific!

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