Welcome back writers. I’d venture a guess that you’ll likely be able to guess what big event is going on this week simply by looking at today’s topic.
That’s right. LTUE, Life, The Universe, and Everything, which is the writing convention for writers, is happening this week. It’s a big deal. I’ve been readying myself for several weeks now, making sure that I’m prepared and ready to go when this Thursday rolls around. Which is going to be tricky, because my first panel begins at (shudder) nine in the morning. Which for me is in the range of “Okay, I’m awake, but what time is it?”
Never fear. I’ll be more alert than that. I’m adjusting my sleep schedule to ensure that I’ll be arriving well-rested and prepared to talk writing. If you’re going to be in attendance this year, then I do recommend swinging by the panels I’ll be on, as well as my other appearances. I’d love to say hello, and I’ll be dispensing nuggets of writing wisdom on request. You can see what panels I’ll be on at this link to last week’s news post.
Now, today won’t be the last time I talk about LTUE, as we’re obviously going to have the end-of-day write-ups that I share each year on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. But on Wednesday I’ll be posting my own highlights of the schedule, noting which panels I intend to attend or recommending those that might be useful for certain topics or concepts.
But today, we’re diving right in with a sort of special Being a Better Writer post, and we’re going to be talking directly about how to use a writing resource like LTUE.
See, there’s a lot that goes on at LTUE, but one thing that people sometimes forget when they’re in attendance is that first and foremost, LTUE is an educational con. Yes, it’s neat and fun to be able to meet some of our favorite authors and creators in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy space … but we’re not there just to meet them. And when they bring up that book that you really love or that scene that you thought was very cool, they’re not just brining it up because of that—though they definitely love it too. No, they’re bringing it up because they want to illustrate a point, or demonstrate something.
Yes, it’s easy to get distracted by “This is one of my favorite books, and I can ask the author about it when the panel opens up to questions!” But remember that the point of many of these panels—but not all—is to learn. For these authors and creators to pass on the knowledge won by hard sweat and tears. Or that they learned by attending LTUE long ago and have since adapted into their own understanding of writing.
So yes, today I want to talk about preparing for and attending a writing resource like LTUE. So that those of you who are attending get the most out of it that you can.
Don’t get me wrong: There isn’t really a “wrong” way to attend LTUE unless you completely decide against your own prior wishes to attend and learn nothing. One can attend just for fun. I just ask that if you do, realize that the majority who attend are there to learn and understand about writing as well as have fun. So they may ask questions about specific writing processes or situations they’ve been unable to solve in their own writing that you might not be as interested in if you’re there just to meet some authors you love. Just nod and let them ask: they’re there to learn.
And if you are as well—or if you’re going to be attending any similar convention—the you’re going to want to hit that jump. Because today, we’re talking about ways to get the most out of cons like LTUE, to grow your writing talents.Continue reading