Thursday, August 6, 2015

GenCon 2015 Report Part 3 - Day 3

I had a great night's sleep with a belly fully of milkshake and burger from Rally's.

The day kicked off with a panel of "Character Craft" which could be succinctly summarized as create interesting character in interesting situations. Look for character that the reader will fall in love with. But don't forget that people are fascinated by broken or fractured characters. Be wary of character sheets and focus on identifying the 3 most important things to that character. And don't be afraid to write in layers, coming back again to a chapter and adding that extra layer of character depth after you've nailed down the story.

The "Character Voice" panel explained how it isn't about a character's background, race or gender, it's about who they, how they operate, and how they make choices in their environment.

I then went downstairs and fought my way through the throngs of attendees to get to the Artists' Alley. I had the pleasure of meeting Chuck Wendig, the author of The Kick-Ass Writer. As he autographed my copy, he asked me about my own writing project and quickly reminded me that I really need to work on my novel pitch.

I had lunch at the Ram which was a bit disappointing. Their beer selection was impressive, but their food, not so much. 

The last seminar of the day and of the Writer's Symposium was Michael Stackpole's "Advanced Characterization". Stackpole exclaimed: "You are in the business of torturing readers." Figure out what the reader wants from the character and do your best to not give them that. Have their past erupt into their present. Look for those secrets that the protagonist doesn't even know about themselves. Engage a reader's emotions to make your world seem real.

I snagged a ticket to an Arkham Horror game. It turned out to be one of the worse games of AH that I've played, spending the majority of my time either in the Asylum or in the Hospital. However, the only thing I managed to do of any worth was join the Silver Twilight Lodge. And it turned out that upon a return visit there, I successfully closed the last game to secure our victory, redeeming myself!

We finished up around 10pm and I was blown away by the numbers of active game in the Halls. Tables and tables of games of all kinds and several with their own custom, hand-made boards. It was truly something to see. I joined a late-night game of Firefly and explored a new corner of the 'Verse with the Kalidasa expansion.

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