On our way out on Thursday evening, we spotted a cheaper parking garage downtown, so on Friday morning we made our way there. However, I forgot my day's worth of tickets in our hotel room. Sigh. You can get the tickets reprinted, but you have to pay the full cost again. Turns out so did my friend, so I didn't feel so bad that we had to head back to the hotel! We were fortunate enough to get back in time to still find a spot in that cheaper parking garage.
The "Dialogue and Dialogue Tags" panel was a fun one that highlighted the most important rule in writing: there are no rules. Each panelist had a different opinion and style that worked for them. I think the key for dialogue tags is to work at it and try to put the emotional content in the actual dialogue. Don't rely on action dialogue tags or adverbs.
I took a lunch break walk through the Exhibit Hall and tried several games, including the revised edition of Fury of Dracula and Tigris and Euphrates. The Fury of Dracula will be perfect for my gaming group as several players act as vampire hunters and pursue Dracula across Europe and Great Britain.
Michael Stackpole's "Characterization" seminar broke down the different ways your can use to create a character, whether you model them after a historical figure or your friends, build them as an archetype, or blend those methods. His blitz characterization technique shows a lot of promise in providing that initial spark: use two positive and then a negative that get the reader thinking. For example, George was well dressed and attended church on Sundays, but non one trusted him with the collection plate.
Stackpole's second seminar on "plotting" turned out to be more of an interactive class as he worked with the class to create a plot. Together, we built and discussed the necessary plot elements of a good story. The basic idea is that you have to figure out what has to happen and then work backwards and make it happen, let the scenes that need to be there, evolve in your mind. Don't forget though that the story you think you're writing changes as you write it.
I had just enough time to head over to the Sun King Brew Tent and grab a Drink On And Prosper before my Game of Thrones game. We played on a 3-D game board and it was beautifully done, including miniatures for all the military forces. As House Greyjoy, I pounced into the neck of Westeros and clashed against the Lannisters. House Martell and House Tyrell fought several battles in the south over sea and land. After 8 rounds of play, I claimed two castles, including the Lannisport, and won the game with seven castles.