I left Denver in subfreezing temperatures, with falling snow and a delayed flight while the plane was de-iced. I arrived in San Francisco to blue skies and 70-degree weather. Needless to say, I was overdressed, sweltering in my heavy winter coat.
Not that I was surprised. I know that February can bring some truly lovely weather to San Francisco. It can also bring cold and rain, so it’s important to pack for both kinds of weather. It’s all about layers and the first layer I shed was that coat!
There were two class sessions being offered attendees that afternoon. Unfortunately, my plane arrived right before the first session began at 2 p.m. It might be just as well because I would have had a difficult time choosing between Bob Dugoni’s “How to Write Your First Bestseller” and Katharine Sands’ “Convincing Agents and Editors to See Your Work with a Dynamite Pitch.” Still, I would have liked to attend one of them, so phooey.
I arrived at the conference at about 3 p.m. and still had to register. Then I had to choose between “First Page-A-Thon” and “Making Your Work Rejection-Proof: Tips & Techniques from Freelance Editors. “ Dang! They don’t make it easy at this conference with so much good stuff going on.
In the end, I decided to go with the “First Page-A-Thon.” What is that? To quote the conference schedule:
Bring the first page of your novel without identification. A panel of agents and editors will give you feedback on it.
Unfortunately, I arrived too late to have my first page added to the queue. However, it was really interesting hearing the feedback on the pages that were read. The agents and editors focused on what worked and what didn’t, and if they would want to keep reading or not. They gave suggestions on how to fix problems, the most common being needless repetition and starting the story in the wrong place. Overall, it was an entertaining and informative class.
Looking forward to a full day of classes on Friday!