What does Phoenix Comicon offer authors?
Well, it’s almost that time of year again. Comicon!!! Last night I presented a table talk at Desert Rose on why authors should attend Phoenix Comicon, and I thought I’d share a few key points with you.
The largest reason to attend comicon is to get new ideas. Most authors attend plenty of ‘author’ workshops – by authors, for authors. Comicon is place where you can attend workshops intended for a larger audience, allowing you to take ideas from other genres or media to diversify your writing.
Let me give one great example of this. I taught two comic classes for four years when I was in Korea. I used two books by Scott McCloud, Making Comics for the first semester, and Understanding Comics for the second semester. In Making Comics, McCloud does a wonderful job of covering the six facial expressions that are present in every culture on the planet, how facial expressions scale (sternness > indignation > anger > rage), and how facial expressions mix to create new expressions (anger + disgust = outrage).
Is this useful for an author? That question was entirely rhetorical. The ability to describe facial expressions in unique and interesting ways is one of the hallmarks of a great writer. Attending a course for artists on how to refine facial expressions will teach you a lot about how to break them down so you can visualize and describe them in your work.
This is only one, infinitesimally small portion of what Phoenix Comicon offers. You can attend makeup and costuming classes to bring life and detail to your characters. You can walk through the vendor shops and observe what people are buying. What appeals to the market? What is trending? What age groups are buying certain items, and what classes are they attending?
And hell, if you have no imagination, I guess you can just attend one of the around 100 courses offered for authors. Many of the writing courses can be applied to any genre: Reluctant Heroes, Who’s driving? Plot or Character?, How Evil Should They Be? Villains and Anti-heroes, and Get to Know Your Firearms are just some of the many offerings that can be applied across genres to make your writing better.
Here is a preliminary list of what this year’s comicon schedule is going to look like. There are already more classes up on the site, and if it is like last year, I believe that this list shows only about half the courses that will be offered. The rest aren’t up on the web site yet because they are late with the scheduling.
At $80, you aren’t going to find better value for money anywhere else. The official web site is here: http://www.phoenixcomicon.com/.
2015 Phoenix Comicon Books & Authors Programming (To Date):
- 21 Days to a Novel
- Airships: Creating Steampunk Technology that flies
- Artist/Writer Connection
- Attacking the 9 Senses
- Breaking Those Writer’s Blocks
- British Zombie Invasion
- Build an Impromptu Story (collaborate with other authors)
- Chuck Wendig Spotlight – hard-hitting advice for aspiring authors
- Del Rey Spotlight – what books they will have coming out in the future
- Dialogue: Speech vs. Prose
- Diana Gabaldon
- Dragons and Rare Creatures
- Fan Fic Theater – they will read aloud YOUR story, bring your best work
- From Page to Screen – turning a book into a movie, TV show, etc
- Get to Know Your Firearms
- Good = Perfect – when do we need flaws in our protagonists?
- Have Your Writing Critiqued – General – Read aloud 3 minutes and literary professionals will critique it
- Have Your Writing Critiqued – The First Page – Can You Make the Cut?
- Here on Earth – writing Earth-centric Science Fiction
- Historical and Fantastical and Maybe a Little Magical – spice up your story with a little unreality
- How Big Can It Get? – building massive worlds, creating huge casts of characters, etc.
- How Evil Should They Be? – villains and anti-heroes/anti-heroines
- How to Adapt Your Novel to a Screenplay and Vice Versa
- Hybrid Authors
- In the Beginning – Authors reminisce about how they got published the first time
- Life After True Blood – Vampires in the modern world
- Lighting the Darkness: Creating, Fandom, and Comicon with Mental Illness
- Magic and Paranormal in Steampunk Writing
- Magic Refresh – uses of magic and innovative ways to bring magic to literature
- Marketing Your Novel – cover letters that work, elevator speeches, manuscripts, etc
- Mother Trucking Monsters – What makes a memorable monster
- Mythology – ancient and modern and how it works with modern literature
- On The Outside Looking In – Authors that cross genres
- Outside Influences – Be it peer pressure or possession, how do outside influences get in and change a character?
- Paranormal Romances – Can love survive?
- Rewriting History – how to alter history into a realistic fantasy
- Serial Box Publishing – writing weekly serials
- Sherrilyn Kenyon spotlight
- Space in Science Fiction
- Stepping Up to Social Media
- Super Supernatural
- Technology for Authors – creative ways to publish and promote
- Tension on Every Page
- The Food of Fantasy – feasts
- Unlikely Influences – authors discuss what non-book influences inspired their writing
- Urban Fantasy
- Who’s Driving? – Plot or character?
- World Building
- Writer’s Life – How to: maintain a “normal” life, handle writing time, budget irregular paychecks, deal with travel, and fans. How can family handle this? Hear from authors and their significant others on how to survive the literary life.
- Writing Reluctant Heroes
- YA Bridging the Generation Gap