I took approximately 20 pages of notes at LTUE. I attended 24 sessions on various writing topics over three full days. Along the way, something was bound to jump out to me. After scanning back through my notes, I noticed several scribbles that were starred to remind me to not forget. So here’s a few of the biggest realizations I had at LTUE 2014:
ePubs are just HTML
This was a revelation for me but it makes perfect sense in hindsight. ePubs are just made up of HTML, images, and fonts. It’s super straightforward and since I know HTML, doing the formatting on my eBooks is not only doable but is also going to probably be fun. I learned a ton about using Sigil to format an ebook and the in’s and out’s of using custom fonts, images, and layout.
There are no rules for the process of writing
I’ve been looking for magic bullets for a long time but it occurred to me during a session on writing preparation that there are no hard and fast rules for “the best” process to write a book. The best advice given was to just try LOTS of things (in fact, try as many different techniques as possible) and find the techniques that work for you.
Romance payoffs are when a wall is breached between two characters
I went to a romance session… Let me give you a moment to pick yourself off the floor… Okay, so ya, this romance panel was great. Even if I never write a purely romance book (although I’ve been threatening lately), I want to have some kind of romance or at least romantic connection between characters so I went to learn more. The biggest take away for me was realizing that romance is all about tension and then release. The release is the payoff and comes when the two characters breach another romantic wall between each other.
Never put a scene in your book that you don’t absolutely love
Or another way to put it is leave out the boring stuff. If you don’t love the scene, don’t think it’s fabulous, can’t live without it, then it either needs to be reworked/rewritten or cut. Simple as that. If it’s awesome, keep it. If it’s lame, lose it. It really isn’t more complicated.
Studying the craft of writing while writing ups your word count
Attended a really interesting class about writing and how your brain works. What they showed through a number of studies and tests is that writers who study the craft of writing (reading books on writing, deliberate practice, taking classes) improved both their writing and their word count, no matter what level of a writer they were. So I have been studying writing more specifically while working on my book to take advantage of this.
The future of making money in writing is diversification
It’s not about just the paper book anymore. Besides the obvious eBooks, there are many other avenues to use the same writing in different formats such as audio books, international releases in alternate languages, film adaptations, and mobile apps. These are all additional revenue streams using the same piece of work.
Every single sentence needs to pop. Every single paragraph needs to entertain.