Post-GenreCon 2013

I know it's Thursday of the week-after, which by internet bloggy terms is practically ancient history for talking about an event of last weekend, but I'm going to anyway. GenreCon descended on the Queensland State Library last Friday for three glorious days of affirming how much we love our stories, and how wonderful the genre-writing community is, both here in Oz and abroad. Two excellent recaps have already been posted by Peter Ball and my partner-in-workshop-crime, Rebekah Turner. What am I to add to this?

Firstly, I think the observation that no matter how far I think I've come as a writer, I always seem to take an aha moment away from these events ... I guess it's not possible to put so much author-awesome in the room and NOT have some kind of osmotic transfer. This time, one of them was at the 'Know your enemy' panel when Chuck Wendig described antagonists as "the hero of their own story". Bing. Now, I know this. I've probably heard it before. But this time, the penny dropped (and probably because I've just been through a manuscript where I struggled with my antagonist). Sometimes, you're in the right place at the right time to hear the right advice. Happy days.

Secondly, I must talk about the workshop that Rebekah and I presented on the Sunday, using 80s and 90s action movies as a lens for learning storytelling. I've had this idea kicking around for a long time, chiefly because I love said movies, and I use them for teaching in my uni classes all the time. Still, I was blown away by the positive feedback, and seeing the enthusiasm from everyone just makes my day. (If people were disappointed by anything, it was the solution to our little sound issue, meaning Bek and I didn't get to do Hercules Returns-style renditions of our clips - maybe next time!) Teaching is one of the things I love most about the writing community; not just workshops, but all the informal stuff writers give to each other over coffee or in conversation. This goes even for the ones who are mega successful. The genre community seems a land of few egos and much generosity, and that's wonderful in the extreme.

I haven't even mentioned the costume ball on Saturday, the debate, or any of the myriad authors I had the joy of meeting and re-meeting. But you can tell, I think, how all the little things came together for a memorable con. I'd like to thank the convenors for the year of grist in putting it on, and for their endless good humour throughout the three days. I'll be back next time for sure.