I love the Ottawa conference. It's focused, it's small, it's always run well and the people are great. I truly like all the women I've met from that chapter and alot of Toronto writers head up and it's always fun to spend the weekend with the friends I have in TRW. They also draw from Canadian writers for their speakers and it's always amazing to see the big caliber writers who live in the area. Jo Beverly and Kelley Armstrong were this years heavy hitters and they were fantastic -- accessible and friendly!
For anyone looking for a small conference to go to - I highly recommend this one.
I went this year with my newborn daughter and my folks, which sadly meant I couldn't see all the speakers I wanted to, but I did get a chance to see Opal Carew talk about how she schedules her time in order to write 2 100,000 word books a year. I also got to see some of Sharon Page's talk on how she outlines.
And I think what Maureen and I both walked away with is how much time these authors build into the pre-writing stage. Previous to this conference, I planned most of my time for writing followed by a good chunk for editing - with some built in "iIreally screwed this up" time in the tail end for good measure. But both Opal and Sharon take upwards of four weeks to outline, plan and work on the books. Before writing. BEFORE WRITING!!
FOUR WEEKS!!! It seems outrageous. Ludicrous. Even though we've all been talking about doing more work up front instead of trying to fix everything at the end -- it still seems like so much time. But their arguments were sound and looking at the number of books both of them have been able to push out in the last two years and how their popularity has grown -- well, the case is pretty much made.
Now, I don't know if I can do four weeks - but as I am coming up on contract again, I need to think of what I can do, because I think it's smart and I think it's advice I am going to take.