History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Norwescon Recap

Norwescon logoI spent the weekend at Norwescon, and for the first time in years, I was simply there as an attendee–no vendor’s room or author’s row table, not speaking on panels, and basically no obligations except as part of the Broad Universe reading. So I got to attend a bunch of panels and take some writing classes instead.

On Thursday, I only hit one panel, which was about worldbuilding and biology. And though the panel wasn’t quite as advertised, I did learn a few things and found more things to research in relation to my current works in progress and future stuff I want to write.

Friday was a panel and two classes. I started out with a dialogue class taught by Curtis C. Chen, which was filled with some great exercises for spicing up dialogue.

After that, I went to a panel about what makes something horror, and I got a good bunch of notes on that topic.

Then I had another class, with Joseph Brassey and Fonda Lee talking about writing combat. This is still something I struggle with, so getting some tips on where to read and study well-written combat scenes was very helpful!

Saturday was a panel and a class, and then me blowing off the next thing I wanted to do, because I had to go write instead. The panel was on story endings, and while it was focused a bit on the novel side of things, I got some notes for short stories as well.

The class was about whether worldbuilding or characters comes first, taught by Mark Teppo. This wound up being a fantastic class where we learned about how to make worldbuilding help your plot run more smoothly, and also how it’s difficult to have characters without worldbuilding and vice versa. We also did some writing exercises in this class, and during the third one, I started writing a story that I then had to run to my room to finish.

After that, I went to reading by Nisi Shawl and Mary Robinette Kowal, who are both wonderful authors who do amazing readings. And then, after dinner, it was off to hear some of my fellow Broads read at the Broad Universe reading, in which everyone used exactly the amount of time allotted them (I’m the official “time dragon” for our readings, and I didn’t have to cut anyone off!).

Next year, I may be back to vending or paneling, but it was lovely to have a year to just enjoy the convention!

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