I’ve been following tweets and blogs from people attending DragonCon and Worldcon. Both are happening this weekend. I cannot begin to say how much I want to be at either of them this weekend. But the job that is paying the bills at the moment doesn’t easily allow me to attend anything 1.) on the other side of the county from me and 2.) during the first ten days of the month. So I’m stuck here, trying to plot how to get to DragonCon next year and making plans for the local conventions I’ll be attending. Worldcon’s location for 2014 of London, unfortunately, puts it extremely out of reach unless I win the lottery.*
Right now those plans are focused on if I want to participate in the Writer’s Workshops offered for Convolution 2013 and BayCon 2014. I attended my first one last year at BayCon. The session I attended was structured as a group of eight—four professionals and four submitters. I submitted the first 7,000 word of my novel and a 500 word synopsis about a month ahead of the workshop. The professionals and submitters review your work and make comments on your manuscript. Those comments are discussed in the workshop itself. If you go to a convention offering a workshop, I recommend that you participate. I learned where I needed to focus on in terms of plot, characterization, and grammar. (No matter how many times I read the rules, the proper usage of dashes and hyphens remains a mystery to me.)
The other reason I like to attend conventions is a chance to be surrounded by people who share the same passion. At work I have friends and co-workers who watch and read the same things I do. But they don’t have the same energy as when you’re admiring the work someone put into their costume, discussing with an author their latest work as you’re having it signed, or in a gathering watching the episode of the hot show that happens to be on while you’re at the convention. That is the reason that I go.
*Which assumes I play the lottery. I don’t. Adjust my odds of winning accordingly.