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CONduit Notes

Conduit 2011! - SLC 5/27/11
~Mapmaking for Writers (Photoshop Demo)
Brushes - make brush for/of mountains, sand, etc. Vary shape, scatter, etc. Layer!
~Brian Hailes "main address"
~Tracy Hickman - Characters & today's writing market (format?)
-Scribes Forge online workshop
-Eight archetypes! (see earlier chart)
Sometimes the most interesting stories have the main character in a passenger seat (i.e. To Kill A Mockingbird - Protagonist is Tom, the accused black man. Antagonist is Bob Ewell, the father. Contagonist is Mayella Ewell, who tempted the black man. Guardian is Atticus Finch. Scout, the main character, is not one of the drivers - probably the Emotion character.)
-Complex Characters! Characters have two characteristics: --the way the act (action), --the way they think (decision).
Protagonist - Pursue [objective] (Action) / Consideration (Decision)
Antagonist - Avoid/Prevent (A) / Reconsideration (D)
Guardian - Help (A) / Conscience (D)
Contagonist - Hinder (A) / Temptation (D)
Skeptic - Oppose (A) / Disbelief (D)
Sidekick - Support (A) / Faith (D)
Emotion - Uncontrolled (A) / Feeling (D)
Reason - Controlled (A) / Logic (D)
Characters become complex when they swap a characteristic with another character. Scarecrow (Wizard of Oz) is complex: Reason, but *un*controlled Logic; he's always running off and doing crazy things. Tin Man (Oz) is complex: Emotion, but *controlled Feeling; when he gets emotional (cries) he rusts! (You can't get much more controlled than a statue.) Wicked Witch is complex: All action Antagonist - Hinder & Avoid/Prevent. Wizard of Oz is complex: All decision Contagonist - Temptation & Reconsideration. (Dorothy = Protagonist, Glinda = Guardian, Toto = Sidekick, Cowardly Lion = Skeptic)
-If you do not have a character in every archetype, your story will feel like something is missing. Recognize those missing pieces and you'll know how to fill the hole perfectly.
-Can you have more than 8 characters? Yes, but you have to give one role (A/D) to another, whereupon they each become "shallow" with only one characteristic.
-Can you have fewer than 8 characters? Yes, but then you have to divide those extra characteristics to others, making them more complicated.
+: Archetypes are shorthand and easy for the reader to recognize.
-: This can get boring.
Changing characters into complex ones makes them more interesting for the reader, too, but requires more explanation (you have to explain the characters instead of having the reader know what to think of them automatically).
-See what characters you have, what are missing, what characters are redundant/doubled up. Focus your story!
You need to recognize that "This is my story.... This (over here) is me." Keep the two separate. You need someone to tell you your baby is ugly. But unlike the baby, your manuscript can be fixed!!
Focus your story into 25 words or less, explain it in one paragraph! If you can't, you haven't found the story yet. If you *can*, you can sell it. To anybody.
New media age = anyone can be published. But until someone *reads* you, it means nothing.
Create stories with solid structure, add Determination and Honest Desire to learn the craft = you can make a career in words.
Find your audience, meet them, enter into an ongoing conversation with them.

Saturday 5/28/11
~New Face of Self-Promotion
-Steve Diamond & Tristi Pinkston = resources to self-promote
-Blog & Facebook = essential
-Always be promoting: be presentable, groomed, willing to talk to people. Every time you're in public, you're a writer. Always be willing to talk about it. Every time you don't introduce yourself as a writer, you've lost an opportunity to advertise. Also, know what you're talking about.
-Do more than spam yourself! Post other things, too! Word of mouth is HUGE. Find a platform (things to talk about) and be consistent - Jaleta Clegg = SFF & recipes.
-Think about your audience/market - find those people who like that stuff (Larry Correia = gun aficionado), become known to them (internet forums, etc), and then promote yourself to them.
-Find the balance between promotion and writing! Don't waste all your time on the internet!
*Go to michaelbrentcollings.com and email him to request his paper on self-promotion.
-Target your audience and get yourself interviewed where they can see. People are found through interviews. You need to sell yourself, too.
-Think about yourself as a brand and represent yourself accordingly (keep your image - watch what you say). Larry Correia: if you write frilly froufrou glitter stuff, don't put angry rants on your blog! And vice versa.
-Be somebody who can click with people. Be likeable! At cons and stuff, don't be a snob to other guests OR audience!
-Maybe you're ashamed, embarrassed, shy about sharing your work - don't be, unless it's not your best.
-Write your tagline (logline?) BEFORE you write the book, and use it as a guide to focus your book. Make it 1 sentence, 30 words or less!
-When you send requests to reviewers, write them like a query letter.
~Writing/Illustrating Graphic Novels
-Goddard [University?] in Oregon & Vermont has a new Graphic Novel Writing MFA program
-Look at scriptwriting format from various authors - Geoff Johns, Mark Millar, etc - and take what you like from their formats.
-Think in beats - make the reader want to turn the page (works well in web format and print)
-Difference? Comic books are like TV series, and graphic novels are like movies.
-Never give up on storytelling. It's the most important thing.
~Comic Art
(Kevin Wasden, Travis Walton, AJ Bell, Jess Smart Smiley, Brian Hailes, Becky Jensen, Emily Sorensen)
-Vary your paneling (ish), vary your pacing
-Show it to people so you can be sure the story comes across.
-BACKGROUNDS! Also, transitions: how well you can do sequential stuff - action & tranquil scenes.
Book: 5 C's of Cinematography
-Backgrounds - slightly different viewpoint in each, consistent world perspective (make it make sense)
*Make priorities in each panel - what is it trying to convey? What is the most important thing? The character's expression? The thing in the background? Build panel emphasis around that.
-Color - biggest way to control how to draw the eye. [Work in a dominant color elsewhere in the page, like in a normal painting. Make sure it works on a page by page basis.]
-Start with a color palette, or a color grade (Matrix -> green). Control our values first, then let the colors emphasize further. Check values via grayscale mode first - if it doesn't work in b/w, it's not going to work in color.
-Don't let life get in the way of your dream. take care of your responsibilities, but don't give up just because it's hard.
-Draw every day. Keep learning. Always keep a sketchbook. Find what you love to draw.
~First Aid in the Middle Ages
Ann Chamberlin (bookshop @ AZ ren fair), Dene Low, Daniel Coleman, Ann Sharp
-Humours & Elements - Keep yourself in balance, or things start to go wrong.
-Some remedies based on superstition.
Pain & Fever - willowbark, European feverfew
Hangover - ale (?!)
Milk tolerance was a regional tolerance (N Europe, Arabia)
Acchilea - used on wounds
Honey - topical for open wounds (Egypt)
Nausea - ginger, peppermint, black horehound, raspberry leaf
Vitamin deficiencies looked like diseases
Scurvy - rose hips, scurvygrass
Types of medicine: Arabic / Asian / European / Native American
Pinch finger - if nail bed changes red/white quickly - good circulation
Books: Nature's Medicine; Western Medicinal Plants & Herbs; Witches, Midwives, & Nurses; Natural Remedies of Arabia; Encyclopedia of Medical Plants (DK); Nutritional Health & Healing; Odie - Complete Medicinal Herbal; Dover - 2 vol. A Modern Herbal (Mrs. M. Grieve). Medieval & Inaccurate: Nicholas Colepeppers Herbal; Herberius; Lacnunga
~X-Treme Dungeon Mastery
-D&D is way too caught up in minutiae, rules, and mechanics, and has lost the magic of storytelling
~Writing Music for Your Books
Michael Young, Berin Stephens, Peter Orullian, Steven Gashler
-Recurring theme - each character has its motif (Since Wagner)
-Melodies are what's copyrighted - try stripping the melody out and use the rest of the song with your own.
-Transmedia storytelling - uses the strengths of each medium to tell a more enriching story.
-Write/use music for expanding on the story
-Take a long walk and think about your story problems, hum about it
-Programs to look into: Band-in-a-box, Garage Band, Audacity, Finale, Q Base, Pro Tools, *Muse Score, Linux Multimedia Studios, Free Sound (FX) (creative commons)
-Fiction genre choice & music choice - correlation?
-Epicness - examination of a hard life. Epic music, epic storytelling =/ fantastical elements.
Music/Lyrics first? try both! one will feel more natural/comfortable
-"Men of Honor" movie
-Charles Beaumont - wrote great music in his fiction
-Rock Bottom Remainders - Dave Barry, Steven King
~Carole Nelson Douglas - Main Address
-Agent = "gatekeepers"
-Ray Bradbury = "What are you excited about when you were little" What drives you? Figure out what you love and write that!
-You write the sum of your literary influences
-Build mystery: build characters, throw them together. Set up who was murdered, then look at it like a detective yourself. Make everyone a really solid suspect! Drop in a couple clues earlier. fascinating characters, ethical dilemmas.
-Book: Something Fishy (Midnight Louie meets Cthulu)
~Bad Fairy! Not a Vampire
Erin Ruston, Clint Johnson, Dan Lind, Tracy Hickman
-Original vampire, Dr of Shelley (Mary Shelley or Percy?)
-Book: Women who Run w/the Wolves
-Orig Stoker vampire = Bluebeard analogy - cautionary tale against abusive relationships
-Stoker's - morality vs. sexuality
We are teaching women that if they love him enough, it's okay that he's a monster.
-Zombie is our fear of death; vampire is our seduction of death
-Vampires - all the sensuality with a layer of deniability
-Campbell - laments loss of mythology as formation of our ethics. We don't need to see who we are, we need to see who we can be.
-Story gives us meaning. Story impacts thinking (carefully crafted) - i.e. the media "stories", not "related facts"
-80's trend of fiction about the corporate woman was countered by Mary Higgins Clark (read some of hers?)

Jan. 3rd, 2010

Testing, testing, 1 2 3..

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