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Tomorrow evening, I'll be giving my presentation, 10 Things Every Writer Should Know, at Long Hill Library, NJ. Kick-off's at 7:30pm. If you'd like to come along, I'd love to see you there.

When I first considered potential topics for my solo presentations, I thought long and hard about which subject to talk about.

I settled on 10 Things for two reasons: First, I'm still in the early stages of my writing career, which means that, while I'm not a complete novice, and I'm confident about discussing a wide range of writerly-type subjects, there are plenty of other writers giving those talks (and with far more eloquence than what I could).

The second reason is more selfish. 10 Things is based on what I learned in my personal journey as a writer. I do believe what I have to share can help folks shorten their journey to publication, but if I'm honest, I think I settled on this topic more because it's so easy to talk about. After all, I've never been shy about sharing examples of my stupidity with others, and Lord knows, when it comes to writing, I've made plenty of daft mistakes along the way.

How about you?

What writerly talks and presentations would you prefer to give?

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( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 8th, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
"What to wear to the Nobel Prize presentation."
Nov. 8th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Interesting choice :)
Nov. 8th, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
I'm sure my choice is far more interesting
than my speech on the topic would be.
Nov. 8th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
Since I have been writing and getting published (sporadically, I admit) I have had this fantasy of teaching creative writing, here, at the school where I took a creative writing class in the late 90's.

Looking back, I saw a lot of students patting each other on the back for terrible fiction, starry-eyed dreamers who were going to write professionally.

I would like to go back and beat that out of them. I would like to teach them what it means to here "NO" a thousand times, to hear that their work sucks, that they were just a half dozen edits from a salable story, because I would have benefited most from that when I still had youth and ambition. Instead, I was told to expect great things just off raw ideas and expectations, instead of the monotony, rejection, and frustration that keeps me sharp nowadays.

Because, like a prison shiv, the most useful things are created out of desperation, panic, and no expectation to survive until the next day. There is no next day. Like Bob Dylan says, if you aren't busy gettin' born, you are busy dying.
Nov. 8th, 2011 06:10 pm (UTC)
I hate to disagree with Mr. Dylan, but if you ask me, too many people spend too much time worrying about gettin' born and dying, when they ought to be having fun :)
Nov. 8th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
Very true. For me, the "fun" part comes at that moment, it's probably only a few seconds in an hour of writing, when I feel myself pull away from the keyboard, and in a weird way, I can see myself typing, and my thoughts are completely immersed in the story. I'm THERE, in the story. And then I come back and realize I have done something worth keeping. For me, that's the fun. Just me, and the story, and nothing else. No music, even if iTunes is running, no sound of the fridge, clack of the keys. The walls fall away and I'm somewhere else. But it takes a long time to get there.
Nov. 8th, 2011 08:00 pm (UTC)
It's so worth it though :)
Nov. 8th, 2011 06:01 pm (UTC)
The kind that entail me wearing a tiara and my audience falling upon every word I utter.

What....a girl can dream!
Nov. 8th, 2011 06:10 pm (UTC)
I thought that was your normal Sunday wardrobe :)
Nov. 8th, 2011 07:03 pm (UTC)
Thursday is Tiara Day. On Sunday, I wear the ermine cloak, too.
Nov. 8th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
I hate public speaking, so whatever it is I'll have to be super excited about it.
Nov. 8th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)
I think it really helps to be keen on the subject.

ronically, I'm more nervous in front of a small audience than a larger one.
Nov. 8th, 2011 09:53 pm (UTC)
As a writer on the spectrum who also has some physical health issues, I would like to someday participate in a writing with disabilities (physical and mental). What we can do to accommodate some of our needs to make working on our writing easier.
Nov. 8th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a great topic :)
Nov. 9th, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
Writerly Talks
I love to give talks on Building Suspense, How to Write a Great Villain, Turning Fact into Fiction and the paranormal in mysteries and thrillers. Another topic I'd like to speak on some time is balancing creativity vs. logic. I see too many aspiring writers who come up with the most exciting story they can imagine, with no thought to the characters' motivations or how things operate in the real world. Even if you're writing paranormal, fantasy or science fiction, it has to "ring true."

Nov. 9th, 2011 04:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Writerly Talks
Absolutely, I hate it when the modern day cop races across town to save someone or stop a crime, when a simple phone call would have had a dozen patrol cars at the scene in half the time.

And don't get me started on the silly girl who decides to investigate that creepy noise in the attic during a blackout :)
Nov. 9th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
Your timing with this topic is impeccable, Jon. A few weeks ago I received an email from a group that runs an annual conference in PA each April. The president of the writers group asked if I'd be available to speak at two 50 minute sessions at their 2012 con, one on writing paranormal fiction and the other on digital publishing. Two things I love to talk about, one being geared toward craft while the other involves the business side of what we do. A nice balance.

Two other topics I enjoyed speaking about at BaltiCon in May were writing paranormal vs. horror and using social media to promote your self pubbed work (or in my case small press pubbed).

Of course, all of my writerly talks thus far have been as a panel member which eases the pressure a bit for a newbie writer like me. I let the big guns do most of the talking. The April gig will have me speaking solo for both sessions. Should be very interesting!

Nov. 9th, 2011 06:41 pm (UTC)
Congratulations, Phil. I'm sure you'll do a grand job :)
Uta Burke
Nov. 10th, 2011 07:52 pm (UTC)
Jon is a fantastic speaker!
I just met Jon a month ago at our Liberty States Fiction Writers Group, and then two days later when he gave a presentation at the East Brunswick Public Library. His speech on 10 things he learned as a writer was absolutely fantastic, hilarious, entertaining and informative. I am taking a public speech college class right now and I am stumped as how to present it so extemporaneously as he does. And funny! Talk about rofl!
I am up for my persuasive speech, and after my professor nixed my first topic about football vs. academia, I decided to blow him away with legalizing prostitution. But other than that, I love teaching workshops about the road to self-publishing and how much going indy did for me. "Immortal Link" is being read in several countries, a prison in NJ, on a flight to China, and the Woodbridge library just added it to their young adult collection. Why not talk about the content of your book, and how you decided on the plot. Very interesting in my case...
Nov. 10th, 2011 11:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Jon is a fantastic speaker!
Lol, thank you very much for those kind words, Uta. The check's in the mail ;)
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

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