Last day at Borderlands….
I went upstairs and saw the continental breakfast was the sexiest and hottest thing I’d ever seen. Turkey sausage, homemade waffles, fresh fruit and my dilly ass was eating donut holes in my hotel room, packing.
Consider this a learning experience.
We meet in the room and have to share our stories we wrote from the one line we were given. I have to say, even I felt improved. My story went in a strange direction. I’ll end up putting a photo of it in here because I’m feeling pretty lazy today.
Either way, everyone was shocked. We weren’t supposed to reveal who wrote what, but I did make a squat with glee sound when Chet Williamson read my story. Oh, he did the damned thing. I was sure everyone knew, but nope…I was being my paranoid self.
We were also able to make our exchanges of the critiques of people we didn’t see, which was odd because there was this algorithm in place. It did not work very well, I kept ending up with the same faces.
In closing, we were given advice. I remember Chet’s advice the most:
“Fuck doing Nano in a month! Take a year to do it! Do it forever! You can’t get anything done in one month.” (silent nods from the room of yes, true)
“Have these books in your ownership and fucking use them: “Eats Shoots and Leaves”, “Elements of Style”, “Chicago Manual of Style” and “Sister Bernadettes Barking Dog”” (scribbles like crazy and makes mental notes.)
“Readers want to know what’s going to happen next, not what happened.”
“For God’s sake, read all dialogue aloud. Read it out loud several times to make sure it sounds real.” (even I can’t stress this enough)
“Cut down on your attributions-like he said/she said. Use other words like growl/grunted/hiss”
We lingered for a bit. Purchased some books. And we left. That was the end. Some of us exchanged phone numbers, vowed to see each other again…stuff like that.
I went out for coffee with some new friends, which was fun
I also came home with a shitload of papers and missed my train by two minutes, but was able to catch up on my podcasts.
One complaint-the price of the hotel seemed to fluctuate. On the last day there, I saw a lot of questionable things but I was glad I was leaving.
Would I go again? Yeah, you betcha! It was fun but I’d make sure I had all the batches of work and reading beforehand, instead of second guessing myself.