FogCon Session Notes

I went to FogCon!
It was awesome!
I took notes!
Because I am socially awkward and a nerd.
So…. I am going to type up my notes and share them. Please keep in mind, if you decide to read them, that they are MY notes… so they reflect on what I was finding particularly interesting in that exact moment… and they might be a tad random. They are really more for me, to help remind myself and to give me a nudge in a few months when I am trying to remember something. Also, I know I have misrepresented the names of books or authors etc… but that is my own ignorance and inability to always hear things correctly so if I get most of the letters right I trust that I will be able to figure out what was actually meant. (and if you can add to the list or correct titles etc, please feel free)
In other words, read at your own risk and feel free to skip.
Portal  / Secret Worlds
·         Currently unmarketable
·         Books etc mentioned
o   Secret Garden
o   10th Kingdom
o   Never-ending Story (the book)
o   Forbidden Games Trilogy
o   Darkness Rising
o   Fairyland books
o   Phantom Toll Booth
o   The Magicians
o   Nightwatch
o   Songs of Earth and Power
o   Lego movie
o   Fistful of Sky
o   Lamplighter Trilogy
o   Amber (?)
o   Wizards of Waverly Place
o   Many Colored Land
o   Spell Song
·         Secret / hidden world vs actual other realm
o   Importance of how the secret stays safe, who or what guards the boundaries?
·         Importance of the exclusion / inclusion aspect… who is allowed in vs who isn’t
o   Chosen vs happenstance of entrance
·         Importance of Home as a concept
o   Journey to return, but as a changed being
o   No place like home
·         Concept of transition period / symbolism of growing up
o   Children are the ones who often leave, allegory of teen and leaving etc
·         Odysseus – journey, going home changed, resisting the pull of immortality
·         Difference between portal world and multiverse
·         Portal world has a different power structure, play with themes of who has power etc, symbol of class system and struggles
·         Prophecy vs happenstance
·         Refine vs acquire skills… part of the hero’s journey, changes how we root for the protagonist
·         Are there horror portal stories (Dead World would fit in this, need to finish writing it.)
Secret History
·         Books etc mentioned
o   Possession
o   V
o   Notebooks of Dr Br—
o   Bad Monkeys
o   Daughter of Smoke and Bone
o   Name of the Wind
o   Last Call
o   The Decoy Princess
o   Cloud Atlas
o   Liar
o   October Day
o   City in the City (?)
o   Yiddish Policemen’s Union
o   Grass King’s Concubine
o   Cold Magic Trilogy
o   The Historian
o   Pym
·         Plot is based on discovering secrets
·         (Stories of our parents… who will edit my life?)
·         3 things, Promise, Lies, Secrets
·         Knowledge can lead to obligations
·         Universal theme of “finding out”
·         Build tension with little secrets, then big reveal
·         How to build connection, either we care FOR the characters or they care SO MUCH we get caught up with them, comes down to good writing
·         Theme of the anti-chosen one
·         Noir + Fantasy = secret history
·         What about the secret history quest to discover your OWN history
·         Secrets can be dangerous, instant tension
·         A secret is very close to a lie… interesting line to play with
·         Writer advice: Leave out the parts readers skip over
When Will your Heroine Finally Get Raped?
·         The answer is “never” for Seana
·         The way we talk about rape in our culture, the inevitability of rape,
o   Yeast infections are inevitable
o   Rape doesn’t have to be, need to change the conversation and context
·         Also important, what we leave out… how we smooth over the rough edges
·         Seana: rape is not a narrative inevitability
·         Mundane life bits vs plot devices and action movements
·         Rape is part of the context of OUR world and society… but if you are in a different world, it might not be the general inevitable context
·         Rape: needs to be treated respectfully, not for titillation
·         The laziness of rape
o   Woman in peril = rape! Worst thing to happen to a woman, worse than death… but to women, for a man the worst thing is his death or the rape of one of his women
o   Shortcut to villainy, how to make a bad guy into a BAD guy… Rape!
o   Rape is the meet-cute of villainy
·         Mechanics vs emotional toll, — motivation
·         Social context of rape is the stranger rape (which isn’t accurate) leads to men and women not recognizing rape when they see it, when they experience it, when they commit it
·         Need to change the understanding of rape and the villain construct
·         Anti-hero… we never let them go all villain (they don’t rape) because that is the unforgivable sin. Murder? Sure. We forgive that. we justify that.
·         Rape culture vs consent culture
·         The cookie cutter response to being raped, … “and then she took a hot shower”
·         Audience question of how to write a rape, answer: don’t (I disagree)
·         Language of “getting raped”
·         Why be so sensitive? People who have been murdered don’t read your books, survivors of sexual assault do.
·         Murder is always the answer, not rape.
·         The artist in the attic
·         Share your glee with others who have the same interests
·         Networking is friendship with a mercenary bent
·         BE part of the community you want to be a part of
·         Don’t be creepy
·         The line between stalking and networking is fine and must be found by you and you alone
·         Twitter is more of a word board, FB is more of an image board
·         Blogs can work but they can also not work, depends on audience
·         Pick one aspect of Social Media and focus on that
·         Author pages at FB aren’t getting as much traction anymore
·         Need to back up blogs and own your own content
·         Tweetdeck is a tool although not free
·         Real life vs online life…. How much you share is up to you, be careful
·         It is the agents job to reject your work, not your job to reject your work
·         You only need to sell your book once, don’t oversell to your fans
·         Network with your fans, network with fans of the stuff you like
·         Be self aware
·         Mailing list is a good thing
The Book Lies to You and Makes You Like It
·         Works mentioned:
o   Among Others
o   Code Name Varrly (?)
o   The Thief (Turner)
o   Downt he Stream of Stars
o   Rule 34
o   Wet Ridge
o   Gone Girl
o   My Sister’s Keeper
o   Life on Mars
o   Turn of the Screw
o   Life of Pi
o   Pain and Gain
o   One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
o   Awake
·         The Unreliable Narrator trope
·         Is it harder in a book or a movie to trust / not trust the narrator?
·         The distance from the narrator, the audience , the different relationships, see the whole context of things opposed to narrow scope
·         Is there such a thing as objective reality? My reality is reality
·         Our own sense of self edited history… memoirs, the epitome of the unreliable narrator
·         Art is what the artist defines it as
·         Author intent vs Audience response
Inspiration to Draft
·         Encouraged to set the writer’s mood… read things similar to those you are writing, be influenced.
·         Training wheel method, model your characters off of other characters until they are fleshed out on their own.
·         Experiment recklessly
·         Stories need a cool person, cool place, cool thing
·         To get over the hump:  
o   Change perspective
o   Flip things around
o   Decide, will story have a victory or a loss and for who?
·         We all tend to write our origin story unless we fully understand it
·         First drafts are hard and awful
·         Story Spine is a tool that can be used
·         Structure… works for some, not for all, need to find what works for you and then try other things as well
·         Create your writer’s toolbox, full of ideas, partly written things, moods, pictures, 100 words a day, whatever it is.
·         Understand formula and structure even if you don’t write like that

·         Set attainable goals, celebrate when you get there

Published by kayliametcalfe

Queer,loudmouth,skeptical-agnostic-pagan,book addict,coffee lover,wine drinker, SAHM,writer,editor,producer,podcaster. -She/her

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