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  • How to Sell to Ellen Datlow

  • Gender in SF

  • Fiction about Real Politics and How Writers Get it Wrong

  • Jim Gunn’s Teaching

  • How to write a novel

  • How Arab SF could Dream a Better Future

  • Latino Characters by Mainstream Authors: Diversity or Cultural Appropriation?

The last two presenters speak better for themselves.



The last gave me a chance to ask what term is better (in a story) --Mexican, Chicano, Latino--because I was criticized by using the word Mexican.  Not surprisingly, Rudy Ch. Garcia said it depends on the era.  He was raised Chicano.  As evidenced by a conference that started a couple of days after our own, many people are not comfortable with Latino.   (I sent some time wondering about what that convention was all about.  An angel stopped me on Saturday and told me that it was a Latino version of the Essence Festival.  There were musical acts at night and during the day, there was panels, speeches, booths just like those set up at the convention center.  This was Target’s third year sponsoring it.)

I was impressed that Yasser Bahjatt's company has committed to publishing in both English and native Arabian dialects in order to get exposure for the writers

Real Politics:

writers were encouraged to remember that even in a totalitarian society, the members of the society receive something in return.  To not indicate that in a story would be unrealistic.  The trains have to run on time.  The bridges have to be built.  The roads must be paved.  That’s why many people remain complacent.

The writers on the panel also mentioned that they books annoying that have missing levels of bureaucracy.  People are able to get into the office of whatever management level they need immediately. 

Ultimately, they ask:  What is the author trying to do. How well was it done?  Was it worth doing?  What does the story have to say about being human?

How to write a novel

Some obvious stuff but it bears restating.

What is at stake?  What does the character want?  What can go wrong? What is the purpose of this scene? 

If you are have problems finishing a novel -- take a moment to write down what you fear.  What is keeping you from finishing the novel? (That one was new to me)

For inexperienced beta readers: Ask them to tell you what they think that the story was about.  Ask them what they think of the character.  Ask them how a particular scene left them feeling.


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