Libba Bray, Author of The Gemma Doyle Trilogy and her latest novel "Going Bovine," was the first speaker who kicked-off the event with a great humorous, inspiring and informative speech. She gave four important pointers on "Writing as an Extreme Sport."
1. Be a giraffe: Open a whole new conversation to the world. Have your writing open people up. Deliver the unexpected. Have characters do what they truly are. Book she read “How to Say Good-Bye in Robot.” This book showed her the unexpected and really opened a whole new world for her.
2. Find the cracks that let in the light: Think of your characters as holographic and not just face-on, one-dimensional. Recognize their strengths and weaknesses. Give depth to your characters. Characters like real life people should have flaws and strengths.
3. Just say no to (your pterodactyl boyfriend) trends in publishing: There is no sure thing. Don’t write for others. Write for yourself, you can’t write for what you think people read because nothing is for sure. Make your writing true. Don't just follow trends, but figure out what you have to say.
4. We made it!: Libba really likes this quote, “First you jump off the cliff then you build the wings” by Ray Bradbury. There’s nothing without the leap of faith. Write in a story that you want to tell. You need to take the fear of failure. Make a book that matters to you. Learn to listen to your book. Honor your book with honesty. Commit to what you’re writing w/your heart and soul. Write like it matters. Experience the terror of your fall and build your wings. Trust your work and wait for the wind to help you soar.
Libba's wise words certainly uplifted everyone's spirit to become better writers. She gave us the jolt to pick-up that pencil and just start writing, or to just sit in front of our PC to start typing away. We need to conquer our fears. Fears of rejection, failure and criticism. Once we do this, it'll make us stronger and give us thicker skin to face anything that comes in the way of stopping us from writing and creating what we believe in and what we want to say.
For more informaiton on Libba, visit http://www.libbabray.com/ and more about her book "Going Bovine" at http://www.goingbovine.com/.