Starfest 2016

I’ll be at Starfest 2016 here in Denver this coming weekend (11-13 March).

While I’m there, I’ll be moderating two panels: Combat in SF and Fantasy and Ow! My Spleen!  I’m also trying to get an author table, but I haven’t heard anything about that so far.

Here’s my schedule:

Saturday 12 March @ 1 PM Ow! My Spleen!

All too often in a book or movie, the characters undergo severe physical trauma, only for them to undertake heroic acts in the following scenes. How do you write realistic fiction where your characters are injured and face the consequences yet still manage to allow them to do what you need?

Sunday 13 March @ 11 AM Where Did This Chocolate Come From?

Every time our character turns a corner in a secondary world, it seems there is a decision to make. Even something as simple as a drink (and brawl!) in a tavern can lead to a thousand questions about commerce, culture, and connections. Our panelists will talk about these decisions, pitfalls and rabbit holes, and when to say when.

Sunday 13 March @ 3 PM Combat in SF and Fantasy

A lively discussion about what works (and doesn’t) in books and media as far as fighting and conflict. A friendly discussion about violence, bloodshed, and what effect it has upon characters. We’ll discuss what goes on in crafting a scene, what makes a fight scene realistic without being over the top, and we’ll dive into examples of combat done right versus where authors/directors have gone wrong.

If you are here in Colorado, I hope to see you there!

Author Toolbag: Writing Resources Part One

Something I often forget to mention is what resources I use to both continue to improve my craft and to keep on track.  Improving is a process and you should never feel that you are “done.”  Authors who think their writing is perfect are lying to themselves.  There is always room to improve.

One of the most invaluable resources for me is podcasts.  I used to spend a lot of time on the road (I still do actually) and since I haven’t yet found a way to write while I drive, I listen to podcasts.

Writing Excuses is an amazing resource for that.  Their podcasts are short enough that you can finish several over even a moderate commute, which is great for getting your brain thinking about things like plot, character, and story arc.  (Their byline, by the way, is “Fifteen Minutes Long, because you’re in a hurry and we’re not that smart”)  They’re also great because not only are they fantastically intelligent writers, but they’re fun to listen to and they won’t put you to sleep.

The Secrets is another fantastic resource.  Micheal A. Stackpole is not just a great writer, but he spends a lot of time helping other people to become great writers.  (I also wish I had his voice, I’d do my own book narration then and save myself a bundle of cash)  His podcasts are a bit longer and far more methodical, but they’re a good listen and if you aren’t really sure what you’re doing or feeling overwhelmed by the story you’re trying to tell, it’s a good place to start.

The best part about both of these is: they’re free!  Yes, I know, amazing right?  You can listen to hours of great advice, some of which is guaranteed to cause you to want to go write something right now.  and you don’t have to pay a thing.

Next week I’ll go into some other resources I use to improve my writing craft.



Kal’s 2016 Convention Schedule

Just a quick update since a lot of the conventions are posting guests and I have a good idea of my schedule. I’ll be attending a number of the same conventions this year, so I thought I’d post dates and locations for those of you who may attend the same ones:

Cosine – Colorado Springs, CO – January 22-23                                    (Completed, see my review here)

Starfest -Denver, CO -March 11-13

LibertyCon- Chattanooga, TN – July 8-10

MalCon – Denver, CO -August 12-14

Dragon Con – Atlanta, GA – September 2-5

Mile High Con – Denver, CO – October 29-30

I’ll keep this thread updated as things may  will change.  I’m looking at attending some other conventions, but it is hard to fit them into my extremely busy schedule.