Norwescon 38

Norwescon 38 is not three weeks away yet and the host hotel (as well as the overflow hotel) are already sold out, due in no small measure to the presence of our guest-of-honor George R.R. Martin and the frenzy that’s generating in the fan community.  I hear he’s a big deal.  I’ve never seen Game of Thrones myself, but George seems like an earnest fellow and is bringing along the Iron Throne to be displayed in the hotel lobby.  If a passerby or two happens to notice, then it’s all good.  Here is my schedule per the program guide for April 2-5, 2015:

Apr 2, 5PM – “Name All the Things!”  The names you choose add flavor to your story, but sloppy naming can detract from it.  Which characters and places need names at all?  And most importantly, when is it time to stop worrying about names and just get on with writing?

Apr 2, 8PM – “Outlines”.  There are a thousand ways to outline a story, but they won’t all meet your needs.  Our panelists will talk about outlines and offer suggestions to help you discover what works best for you.

Apr 3, 2PM – “The Hero’s Journey”.  Joseph Campbell explored what historically went into stories and revealed the monomyth.  Let’s take a look at the Hero’s Journey and se how it can be used to create stories without stumbling into tired tropes.

Apr 3, 4PM – “Revising From Feedback”.  The terrifying art of adding flour to and removing eggs from that cake you’ve already baked.

Apr 3, 7PM – Reading:  “To the Gods of Time and Engines, a Gift”.

Apr 4, 1PM – Writers Workshop: Betsy Aoki

Apr 4, 2PM – Autograph Session 1

Apr 4, 5PM – Writers Workshop: David Benedict

Apr 5, 11AM – “B Plots: Romances (or Bromances)”.  Developing the soul of any story means nurturing your protagonist, yet many writers flounder here.  Learn from panelists how to write a life-changing relationship.

Apr 5, 12PM –  “Comics on TV”.  Not cartoons, but serious television adaptations of comic properties.  How do you think they’re doing, and what are the ramifications for comics in the future?

Apr 5, 2PM – “Technobabble and Other Cromulent Words”.  Shakespeare, Tolkien, Burgess.  They coined new vocabulary in their fiction.  How to innovate with language without losing your reader.

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The Clockwork Millennials

For a while now I’ve been writing a series of stories and essays set in a post-steampunk dystopia some 800 years from now.  The premise it that during the Industrial Revolution, the great machines of the era became self-aware and, in turn, engendered mechanized gods who recreated the world in their image.  Chronologically, the collection spans the final century of the first millennium following this technological awakening.  Each story is a stand-alone with its own conclusion, and yet the work as a whole builds towards a larger meta-resolution with (hopefully) a deeper, longer lasting payoff than the individual stories do themselves.  In order, they are:

To the Gods of Time and Engines, a Gift

When Averly Fell From the Sky

Evensong, Having Been Answered

And the Blessing of the Angels Came Upon Them

All Whirlpools Lead to Atlantis (work in progress)

The Shades of Morgana

The Goddess Deception

Cold Ink  (work in progress)

The Lost Tomorrows (work in progress)

A Child’s Last Steps at the End of the World