FanExpo Vancouver was outstanding!

Posted on April 23, 2012 by

Butt in chair report: I wrote 549 words this morning on a story called “Island of the Giants,” another of The Gales (the first being Among the Silvering Herd.) I did manage to do about 200 words worth of work on the story at FanExpo Vancouver, in between surges of meeting fans and hanging with D D Barant and Spider Robinson. I also got to meet comic artist Shane Rooks and, oh, some actor guy. Brendan? Nicholas or something? He was on this show I kinda like, maybe you’ve heard of him?
No, seriously, squee! It was cool. And I was pretty cool, too, which means a) no picture of me in NB’s lap but also b) no criminal charges. Instead, here is a picture of me and DD Barant.
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Quite a few of the fans who stopped by wanted to know how one goes about selling a book. Don and I handed out bits and pieces of the usual commonsense and quite general advice: write daily or as near to it as you can manage, lots of persistence, seek feedback, start figuring out how to use it.
Meanwhile Shane Rooks, beside me, had young artists bringing him their portfolios. His advice to them was generous, specific and awesome: this dragon would be better if we could see its face, consider working in other media to get a better perspective on the subject, here you’ve got the light coming from the wrong angle for the shadows, and this figure’s anatomically incorrect.
I am envious of this. A visual artist can look at a whole piece in a second and give–or so it seemed–a lot of concrete feedback. At the Surrey International Writer’s Conference (and I’m sure other venues), there was something of a writer variation on this: I’d get three pages of a manuscript and the author would get fifteen minutes of my first impressions. But this is as close as that gets. There’s no quick-glancing at someone’s entire novel, obviously, especially at an event jammed with, I kid you not, 80,000 fans.

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