Sunday, August 13, 2006

Armadillo Con

I attended Armadillo Con this weekend. This is my second Armadillo Con and I enjoy it more every time. There were some fine panels on what's new in comics, ape movies, and space opera. That's just a sampling. I spent a fair bit of time loitering about the dealers room (much tothe detriment of my bank account, and the enrichment of my library)
Some of the high points were back-to-back panels on writing: how to finish your novel and the business of writing. I got some very good advice from John Moore, Bradley Denton (One Day Closer to Death, Blackburn &c.), Josh Rountree, and Katherine Kimbriel on the novel panel. A lot of it was commonsense, but it’s good to hear it from pros. Somehow stuff you already know sticks better when you hear it from another.

  • Ignore that internal editor. That is what revision is for. Just write NOW.
  • Try writing a synopsis to get unstuck. By telling the story completely, you may get a clue as to what it is really about
  • Have an outline (I always do).
  • Pick a “candy scene” and write that. There’s no law that says you have to write every part in order. Give yourself a reward and write the cool parts you really enjoy and come easily.
  • Stop before a finishing point. If you reach a climax, the next part begins lower, with less excitement. Stop a little before and preserve that momentum.

Mark Finn read from his Robert E. Howard biography, Blood and Thunder (due in November from Monkey Brains). I also sat in on a fine reading by Howard Waldrop (Howard Who?, Custer’s Last Jump, &c) from In Search of Tom Purdue. There was a sparklingly entertaining panel of Robert E. Howard featuring Finn, Waldrop, Joe Lansdale (Rumble Tumble, Captains Outrageous, The Bottoms, and many, many more), Chris Nakashima-Brown (Script Doctoring the Apocalypse), and Mikal Trimm.

The high point of the weekend was a spectacular performance of King Kong by the Violet Crown Radio Players. HOLY MOLEY! I never realized the original special effects film could translate so well into a live radio show. Well, it wasn’t actually on the radio, but performed as if it were… I was absolutely swept up in the moment. On stage I might see actors bellowing through plastic cones, but where it counts I was on Skull Island watching Kong battle a T Rex for his life!

Next up World Fantasy Con!

-Dave Hardy

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