Friday, 24 July 2015
RNA Conference Day 2 - What I learnt
Day two was all about promotion, can writers live happily ever after and writing fantasy and plotting.
Promotion talks were by Jane Wenham-Jones and Hazel Gaynor. The summary from what Jane said that I picked up were: look at why your book is interesting to others, be punchy, tell why you wrote the book and have an anecdote about the book. For historicals, snippets about the period.
Hazel said tell people your book exists, give readers reason to care, convince them to buy. Keep them engaged on social media between books. Share interesting book-related content. Support other authors. Tag relevant hashtags. Share quotes from book. Update Goodreads author profile. Be a real person.
There was a panel talking about can writers live happily ever after: in their work and with their characters. Katie Fforde said that as real life can be tough, give readers a safe place to go. One person said that readers don't mind if you kill off a character but it has to feel right and give hope. Readers want a satisfying conclusion not an open ending. As to their livelihood, it is tough out there.
Then I went to a talk by YA fantasy author Ruth Long (writes as RF Long). She writes about folklore and myths and legends, esp Irish ones. She said that realism is the key to making fantasy work. Ground the reader. The more realistic the more fantasy can happen. Can use setting as character in book. Make sure the reader feels what the characters feel. Avoid stupid things that jar people out of the story. Magic has to have consequences and limits. Characters have to do something. Look at the villain, why they are there and why they do what they do. With folklore, don't take someone's God and make them a monster.
I also went to a talk by Jane Johnson. She went to Morroco to research a novel she was writing, met and fell in love with a man there, whom she married later that same year.
Lastly that afternoon, I went to a workshop on plotting by Liz Harris. We were given a handout to complete, which I did. This gave me an idea how to expand Bea into a proper historical romance, by adding her fiancé's pov to it.