November 17, 2007
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I’m at a convention right now, in chilly Chicago. One of the best things about these conventions is how inspiring they are. I always come home bursting with ideas and plans. Of course, very few of those ever get done, but there are a couple stories (“Common and Precious” among them) that got kick-started by discussions at these conventions.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have conventions in the genre they choose to write in, though I think a “general fiction” convention would be a fun idea. But that’s an aspect of community that I don’t think I’ve really touched on before. We know how helpful a workshop can be to developing your technique and polishing your prose, but be sure to take time just to kick ideas around. Talk about that weird dream you had that had the germ of a good story idea in it, or the news story that you thought might have an interesting twist. I find that in my day job or in my writing, I work better when I have someone to bounce ideas off of. (Our screenwriting workshop actually has been doing very little actual workshopping recently, but even in our socializing, we throw around interesting ideas and I think at least one has sparked a screenplay.)
The convention, by the way, is going pretty well so far! My publisher inadvertantly left behind all the copies of my book to sell, but hey, I’m getting inspired, and that’s worth the trip right there. :)