I just spent the last three days at LTUE. It is a free writers conference at BYU. All you have to do is get there, find a place to sleep and feed yourself. I stayed at my best friends home and had a blast!!!!! I went to her martial arts class Haidong Gumdo (the art of the sword) it was cool. Her hubby is so sweet he packed us a little portable cooler with treats.
We spent all day Friday and Saturday at the conference schmoozing with authors and taking classes. I have to say that my two favorite classes were Conflict and the Mechanism of Story Workshop by Clint Johnson, and Blurb Boiling 101 by by Lesli Muir Lytle. I also liked a presentation called "A Western in Space: An Analysis of Firefly and how it Relates to Cowboy Culture.
You need to check out clintjohnsonwrites.com, he is a writing tutor at Salt Lake Community College writing center, and is the author of Green Dragon Codex. He has an awesome formula for writing. As I listened to the class on Firefly I had am amazing epithany and I knew exactly what I needed to do with my Foxproof book. SO COOL.
In the blurb class we were taught to take our entire book and boil it down to aprox 25 words. Then once it is perfected. You use it in your querys and memorize it in case you have a chance to pitch it to anyone who could buy or represent it. She used one girls book as an example by her telling everyone about it and then having people list what stood out to them and then using those words (aprox. 10) to make a blurb from.
She asked for another "victim" and I volunteered. I read the little blurb from the back of my business card and the room went silent. For a second I thought they didn't like it. The teacher said it was really good and the consensus from the class was that I not change the last 8 words at all. She asked me if the book was done and I told her I just needed to get my edits back and she strongly suggested I start to submit it and get the edits for the first three chapters back ASAP from my readers in case somebody asked for a partial.
All I can say is AAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! Who knew that a little blurb I wrote at midnight could be so amazing. :)
I struggle with my worth as a writer, and while some times I am positive sometimes I get really down. Loosing a contest, hearing about the current economy and how it effects the publishing industry can sap my motivation, and discourage me. I know some of my friends feel the same way. If we wern't driven to write we'd chuck this career in the toilet. It is hard.
Today I cling to the positive blurb class experience and hope that I can have a better outlook tomorrow.