Noelle Nichols

Fantasy Author & Dreamer

Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference 2017

I’ve attended my first Writer’s conference! And much to my surprise, I was sad when it was over. I only attended the Thursday prequel, but the one workshop I attended gave me inspiration and knowledge to create a better book.

Waiting for the Donald Mass’ Emotional Craft of Fiction to Start

Before I dive in with my experience, I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to the Pikes Peak Writer’s for giving me a scholarship to attend the Thursday Prequel of their 25th Jubilee. Without their help, I would not have been able to attend.

I admit, I was a little nervous while driving the hour and a half to get there. I’m an avid part of the #amwriting and #amediting communities on Twitter, but talking to people is not my strong point. Which, let’s face it, not many of us introverts are. Luckily for me, the volunteer opportunity gave me an easy way to meet new (amazing!) writers and gave me the confidence to enjoy the day without feeling like I was out of place. If you went to Donald Maass’ workshop, I was the purple-haired girl checking your tickets. 😉

The biggest surprise was that I actually, dare I admit, enjoyed talking to other writers? I enjoyed causally bantering about being a pantser and how I love writing in the Fantasy genre. It was like the Twitter community I love brought to life. It was freeing being around so many other fellow scribbles. Everyone understood the struggle of writing and how much time, effort and tears go into the whole process. If that was all I got from the conference, it would have been a huge win.

I actually learned, what I believe is the most vital part to any story, how to bring my book to life. How to make it so that the reader has an emotional connection to the work. This has been my struggle and my main focus in my writing. I want to create a book, a world, with characters that you love and experience the ups and downs, twists and turns and feel like I crushing your very heart with my character’s choices.

This is something I’ve struggled on how to approach.

And what I know have an answer to.

I had always assumed that the reader felt what the character felt, but in reality, the reader actually draws from their own experiences in order to feel whatever emotion is being brought about. And it’s not just one emotion. All different kinds of emotions are felt at once within the reader so it’s all about trying to make that experience as colorful and real as you can.

Thanks to Donald Maass’ great workshop on The Emotional Craft of Fiction, I’ve been handed the mechanics and ideas to help me create an emotional connection to my world.

I’ve been striving to apply what I’ve learned while editing my book Shadow’s Design even since. I can happily report it has made my writing much better….which means lots of rewriting. *insert happy face here*

I’m happy I learned about this tidbit before I was farther in my rewrite. Learning and improving your writing is what Writer’s conferences are all about. I used to think they were just for people who had published works, but I was wrong. I brought up my fear during lunch to my new friends and was surprised that nobody, expect one, had actually published a book. There’s no better feeling that being among others in your same situation and passion!

If there’s a writer’s conference near you,  I highly suggest going!


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