Conference Recap, Part the Second: Saturday

Note to self: take more pictures next year.

view from our room

view from our room

Spring is absolutely on here in the northeast, and perfect atmosphere for day two of NECRWA 2015. Though Friday certainly has its share of workshops, Saturday has always felt like Workshop Day to me, and this year did not disappoint. First, though, allow me to state that conference breakfasts with endless tea are basically Extroverted Morning Person Disneyland. Caffiene! Breakfast food! People who want to talk about what I want to talk about! Free book on my plate! :runs about room, trailing streamers:

breakfast food breakfast food breakfast foooooood

breakfast food breakfast food breakfast foooooood

By this time, the usual suspects had formed an entourage, and most of us ended up at the same table to continue the conversations of the night before, with some new blood injected, business cards handed around and schedules compared. If I’d had a parrot on my shoulder for this weekend, a) that would have been an awesome icebreaker, and b) the first phrase he would have learned would have been “how many seats am I saving?” because traveling to workshops en masse is fun.  I will not mention at which workshop somebody I have hung out with at more than one conference spilled coffee on me, but no staining occured, so all is well in that department.

First workshop of the day was Susan Vaughn‘s presentation on the conflict box, which was a new concept for me, and an intriguing one. Biggest takeaway there was to have hero and heroine’s actions each drive the other’s conflict. :rubs hands together and cackles with glee: I think I can have some fun with that.

I’ve seen Megan Ryder‘s presentation on storyboarding before, and jumped at the chance to see it again. Okay, the use of sticky notes was a big draw. I bought a trifold board for this exact purpose after seeing Megan present this a while back, and was interested to see if there would be any new information this time around. Sillly Anna, of course there was. The mere idea of drawing a permanent chart on the board gives me the heebie-jeebies. I’d rather slap the sticky notes up there willy-nilly and then put them in order as they start to make sense, which, as it turns out, is a perfectly fine way to handle things. Of course I knew that, but it’s always good to have reinforcement. Also, I need to buy more sticky notes, because shapes and colors.

After that, it was time to hear from Jackie Horne, another NECRWA chapter sister, on using the Meyers-Briggs personality typing system to build not only characters, but plot romantic arcs. I love any sort of personality typing, as I’m definitely character-led, so hearing how to use this to enhance the love relationship kept me on the edge of my seat. Breaking down personality types into four different functions, ranked from lead to least got my idea hamster running like crazy on its wheel. How to use each character’s personality to find out what both attracts them to their true love and how their true love drives them crazy? Right up my alley. I’ll be using this a lot.

As the lovely Melva was in high demand and her presence required at another engagement, I was not able to attend Gail Eastwood‘s presentation on author voice, another topic I could talk about endlessly, but, through the magic of networking, my luncheon seatmate happened to be a friend of Gail’s and asked if I’d like her to ask if I could have the notes. Mention angels and one appears – Gail happened by to say hi, we explained things, and she graciously agreed to email me her notes and the handouts. Very much looking forward to those.

All too soon, it was time to go, but, as so often happens, a seed was planted. Melva and I had started talking while waiting for breakfast, and before too long, a novella idea had formed. I haven’t collaborated with another writer in a very long time, but once the ideas started, they kept on coming. Melva and I would both blurt out the same thing at the same time, and that’s how I come to today’s featured picture. My first assignment was to write down all the stuff we’d brainstormed at meals and the car ride back. As the plethora of sticky notes shows, there was quite a bit. Stay tuned for updates.

Now, how long until next year?

Traditional post-conference sundae

Traditional post-conference sundae

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