Author Archives: Scott Eder

About Scott Eder

By day, Scott is a Champion of software quality, breaking code, and squashing bugs. By night, he’s a slinger of fantastical words, creator of places and people undreamt, and smith of heroic tales. Oh, and an adviser/coach/fanatic for competitive youth bowling. Ask him about it … he dares you. Scott lives with his wife and two children on the west coast of Florida.

NanoNewbie – Goin’ For It

Nanos have come and gone and I’ve watched them pass, focusing on editing or letting my corporate gig monopolize my time, while my writer friends crow in triumph as they type across the finish line in frenetic bliss. Well, time to snatch me a piece o’ that bliss ‘cause I’m going for it this year. Consider me a Nano contender.

By throwing my keyboard into the ring, I’m committing to writing 50k words in the month of November. It’s doable, with direction and dedication, but by no means a simple feat. Not for me at least. I’m trying to get my daily/weekly/monthly wordcount up, but this is gonna be a stretch.

So be it. I’m ready…or will be by the end of the October.

Several, if not most, Fictorians’ posts on NaNoWriMo will focus on preparing for Nano. Each of us has his or her own basic needs to satisfy at the beginning of a project. Some writers can jump right in. Give her a name, place, and basic concept and she’s off. Me, I need a bit more. The pantser-style and I don’t work well together, so I need to outline. Over the past year, I’ve developed the basics of a middle-grade fantasy—settings, characters, conflicts, and key scenes. Now I need to create the scene-by-scene breakdown. I write more efficiently having mapped the story out prior to planting my butt in the seat to type the first sentence.

I also need to map out my character’s conflict against the main story arc to make sure I nail the emotional beats at the key points in the story to ensure her growth and development. Give me a conflict map and a scene-by-scene breakdown and I’ll fly the alps in a plane with no windows. (bonus points if you know that movie reference)

That’ll give me enough of a strawman to start pounding the keys, but I still need one more big thing out of the way— the edits on my current WIP. I’ve had them hanging over my head for a long time. And I’m close…so close, but I need the Knight of Air off my back and into my publisher’s hands. I won’t be able to focus on the new book while still having that tale in the drawer. I’ll feel like I should be working on the Knight’s book and lost focus and drive on the new one.

So here’s what I need to do:

  1. Finish edits on “Knight of Air” and submit to publisher
  2. Complete the scene-by-scene breakdown of “Brownie King” (working title)
  3. Complete the “Brownie King” conflict map

Hmm…not so bad. Only three things on my writing “To do” list for October. I got this.

What about you? Have you thought about what you need to do to be ready to write your brains out next month? Maybe it’s clearing out old projects or negotiating writing time with your family or plotting out the next story. Take the time early this month to figure out how to be successful in November, so we can both crow triumphant on 11/30!

Later,

Scott

September 30th – The Wrap of Con

We’ve come to the end of our month of Cons. I was supposed to post this last night, but I’m attending MegaCon Tampa Bay and ran out of time. So far this Con has been…okay. Several authors and I banded together to claim two tables in Artist Alley. Thanks to my partners in Con—Maria DeVivo, T. Allen Diaz, and Michael J. Allen—the company has been stellar and we’ve talked to many great fans. Attendance has been light and sales slow. We expected today, Saturday, to be packed, and there were definitely more people in attendance today than yesterday, but nothing like we expected. Granted, this is only the second year the MegaCon brand has run a Tampa Con, but considering the monstrous size of MegaCon Orlando, which runs in May, we expected some of that splendor to carry over. In addition, they have several big-name celebrity guests (Stan Lee, William Shatner, John Barowman, and others) to pull in the fans and still no huge numbers. Oh well, we have tomorrow and we’re gonna rock it no matter what happens. Con!

Each Artist Alley table cost $230 and included 2 event badges.

Throughout this month we’ve seen reports on Cons and Events spanning the country and even stretching north into Canada. Several posts added Con advice and strategy for writers. Throughout them all, I hope we’ve provided some useful insight to help you plan your 2017 Con adventures.

See you later and have fun.

Thanks,

Scott

Tampa Bay Comic Con

 

Tampa Bay Comic Con (TBCC) is a family-friendly convention held in the Tampa Convention Center the first weekend in August. If you like your Cons sweaty, this one’s the fandom sauna for you. All joking aside, TBCC is hot when you’re standing in line, but you get to cool off inside the Convention Center. It’s got a strong vendor presence and attracts top-notch celebrity guests (including best-selling authors like Kevin J. Anderson, Terry Brooks, and R.A. Salvatore). The panel schedule is crammed with celebrity appearances, fandom-specific topics, and even quite a few writing panels. Let’s talk about the whole panel thing in a little more detail.

I’ve hosted and participate on TBCC panels for several years. The process to get into TBCC programming hasn’t been very hard. They start taking panel submissions in the Fall and make decisions during the year to fill out their three-day schedule. The key is to have a compelling, popular topic, and a description that will grab an audience. Watch the website for details and submit early.

As I stated before, the Con is family-friendly with guest ages spanning eight months to eighty years. I’ve always found the crowd pleasant, if not a bit snarky (not that I bring that out in people. At all. Ever.) and welcoming. The vendors I’ve worked with, both at my own table in the Artist Alley and while volunteering in the WordFire Press booth have been easy to work with, always willing to watch your table when you need a bio break.

Parking can be a bit of an issue, but you’re all set if you get there early. As a vendor, you can enter the Vendor Room an hour before show opening, so grab some coffee, arrive early, and get a choice spot in the parking garage across the street or connive your way into the Marriott parking lot.

Book sales have been strong. I prefer to partner with a few other authors to have more titles on the table. The different, vibrant covers and multi-genre offerings draw more interest.

Overall, I love TBCC. It doesn’t hurt that it’s in my backyard, but it’s a solid, fun Con and I will continue going back as long as they’ll have me.

By the Numbers:

  • 2017 Attendance – Approx. 60k
  • 2018 Dates – Aug. 3-5

Cost:

  • 6’ Artist Alley Table – $250 + 3% Paypal fee (includes two entry badges)
  • 10’ x 10’ corner booth – $575 + 3% Paypal fee (includes badges, but not sure how many)
  • Parking (how much depends on where you find a spot)

And Now For Something Completely Differ—err—Related – Superstars Writing Seminar

I know it’s the month for being Con-Fabulous, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you about Superstars Writing Seminar (SSWS) now, before the submission window closes for the Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship. Wow, lots of new things in that one sentence. Focus, Scott, focus. Okay. Let’s break it down.

Superstars Writing Seminar

SSWS is a drink-from-the-firehose master class on how to be a professional writer. First and foremost, it’s a business seminar taught by international best-selling authors like Kevin J. Anderson, David Farland, and Brandon Sanderson. You know, the people we want to be like someday. They bring along with them a supporting cast of heavy-hitting guest lecturers (agents, editors, publishers) to provide deeper insight into their areas of expertise. Again, this is a business seminar. The focus is on treating your writing as a business and providing guidance on how to make your dream a reality.

But there is so much more than the incredible information. The instructors and guest speakers are there with you the entire time. They don’t run off. They don’t avoid you. They hang out. They go to lunch, dinner, and even out for a beer later on. They answer questions and talk and laugh and drink and exist in the moment.

And at Superstars, those moments are intense and wonderful. The atmosphere is so charged with creative possibility and hope, it’s contagious. Attendees refer to themselves as a member of the Tribe—a supportive collective of like-minded creatives looking to build their writing careers—and leave with a soul full of energy and a brain crammed with exciting new thought patterns and opportunities.

Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship

If you’re new to Superstars and find the costs out of reach, there’s hope—the Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship. Here are the deets from the Superstars website:

This seminar can be a life-changing experience, and our scholarship program makes it possible for writers to attend who would not be financially able otherwise.

We fund our scholarships through direct donations to the Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship Fund, as well as through the sale of anthologies. One Horn to Rule Them All: A Purple Unicorn Anthology galloped onto the scene in 2015. In 2016 we added A Game of Horns: A Red Unicorn Anthology. Last year, the Dragon Writers Anthology joined the herd.

Based on the success of previous anthologies, WordFire Press has again teamed with editor extraordinaire Lisa Mangum from Shadow Mountain Publishing, the inimitable artist and author James A. Owen, and an eclectic menagerie of Superstars writers, to publish Undercurrents: An Anthology of What Lies Beneath (available in 2018). Proceeds from all four anthologies are applied to the Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship Fund. The number of scholarships awarded varies based on the quality of the applications and the amount of funds on hand. We hope to continue awarding multiple scholarships to deserving writers each year.

The scholarship covers the cost of the seminar, including the Advanced Writing Craft Day. The scholarship does not cover travel, accommodations, meals, VIP seating, the VIP Dinner, or any other add-ons that may be available.

Scholarships are intended for:

  • First-time Superstars attendees only (sorry alumni).
  • Serious writers who want to learn how to kick-start their careers or build upon their existing platforms.
  • Writers with financial challenges. If you can afford this seminar, skip the scholarship application and register now. It’ll be one of the best investments you’ll ever make in your career. If you can’t afford it but know deep down in your soul that you NEED it, read on.

You can download the scholarship application from the scholarship webpage, but you gotta hurry on this one. The application window closes on 9/10.

I can’t put into words how much this seminar has meant to me and changed the way I approach my writing career. I know it’s not a Con, but if you are budgeting for next year’s travel, please make Superstars one of your primary destinations. It’ll transform you.