I just got back from the NEC conference in Salem, MA. Let your imagination take flight is their theme, which perfectly matched the boost I needed in my writing. I guess I was feeling a bit stale, and the wonderful workshops helped pop me back into the passionate state I’m used to being in while creating my stories.
My favorite workshop was about creating captivating characters. The presenter used the cast of NCIS as her subjects, and it was fascinating to think of the subtle quirks and personality traits used by the writers to create such a strong ‘family’ unit. It made me think of other shows I’m hooked to because of the characters.
Criminal Minds is one of those shows. Each character is an individual, but how they interact with each other heightens each case they work on. Snippets of personality come out to reveal their backstory, the things that made them who they are today, and I keep coming back for more.
I want the characters in my books to speak to you that way. I want you to feel their emotions, see their struggles, hear their distinct voices … I want you to fall in love with them. That isn’t asking much, is it?
Back to the conference – the keynote speakers were a hoot, especially Annette Blair, a dear friend, who made us laugh and made us cry with her motivational and touching speech about listening to the Universe and following your heart. From someone who does both, her speech reached in and grabbed our hearts.
The magic of Salem surrounded the entire weekend. Ghost hunts and psychic readings intermingled with the knowledge and networking of serious writers looking to grow in the publishing industry.
I highly recommend this conference to anyone seeking a career in writing. Not only will you learn about the craft, you’ll meet others who are just like you. Spending four days with my writer friends leads to months of productive motivation!
Until next time – Hugs, Christine.