Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Friday, June 3, 2011

Words of Wisdom from Tracy Hickman

Last weekend at CONduit, I attended a lot of panels that Tracy Hickman was on. The man is a fantasy legend and everything he said was just brilliant. He kept spouting amazing quotes so fast, I couldn't write them down quickly enough. I thought I'd share some of what I learned from him.

On the Streamlining Your Fiction panel, he suggested you take your manuscript, hold it at arms length, point to it and say "This is my manuscript," Then point to yourself and say, "This is me." Do this over and over until you believe it. He also pointed out that story is structure. Anything else is just chrome (ie: the part of the car that doesn't do anything for it). When streamlining, you have to get rid of the unnecessary chrome. He said, "If you don't streamline your text, you're reader will." They'll skim if the story is good enough. If it isn't, they'll streamline by just putting your book down. (Or throwing it against the wall. Or burning it.)

He pointed out on several of the panels that our goal should not be to get published. Anyone can get published, especially now. Our goal should be to be read. That's what is really important. He said, "The written word does not live until someone else reads it."

He also said, "Story is not about who we are. It's about who we should be." That was in the panel on when to use cliches. (Yes, there is in fact good reason to use cliches. That was probably the best panel I attended.) That quote there hit me in the deepest part of my heart.

Listening to him speak was probably the best part of the convention for me. Well, that and hanging out with Danyelle.  =)

Tracy Hickman and his wife and fellow writer Laura are offering online seminars on writing which look fabulous. You can find them at Scribe's Forge.

8 comments:

Danyelle said...

Loved listening to Tracy, and *loved* getting to spend more time with you! *hugs*

Heather B. Moore said...

Thanks for the recap. I wasn't able to attend.

Shallee said...

Love this summary. It sounds like it was amazing! I love that he said it's important to be READ, not just to be PUBLISHED. I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

Maeve Frazier said...

Great post Angie. Sounds like the convention was fabulous! Thanks for filling us in.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Tracy is brilliant. I heard him on panels at LTUE. I love that point about being read.

Richard said...

WRITING CONTEST......My blog Amish Stories is having its first ever contest this week. The First prize winner will win 2 tickets to tour the farm where the 1985 move "Witness" staring Harrison Ford and Kelly Mcgillis was made in Strasburg,Pa . This farm is now Amish owned, and the family has given permission for folks to tour their farm. This may be the last time anyone will be able to walk and see the same things that Harrison Ford and the other actors saw during the making of "Witness". The Witness tour should last about 2.5 hours. In addition to the Witness farm tour tickets, 1st prize winner will also receive 2 tickets for Jacobs choice. There will also be a 2nd place prize, which will be 2 tickets for the Amish Homestead. Please go to My blog www.AmishStorys.com for contest details, and more information on the prizes. Richard from the Amish settlement of Lebanon county.

Richard said...

My blog Amish Stories is having its first ever contest this week. The First prize winner will win 2 tickets to tour the farm where the 1985 move "Witness" staring Harrison Ford and Kelly Mcgillis was made in Strasburg,Pa . This farm is now Amish owned, and the family has given permission for folks to tour their farm. This may be the last time anyone will be able to walk and see the same things that Harrison Ford and the other actors saw during the making of "Witness". The Witness tour should last about 2.5 hours. In addition to the Witness farm tour tickets, 1st prize winner will also receive 2 tickets for Jacobs choice. There will also be a 2nd place prize, which will be 2 tickets for the Amish Homestead. Please go to My blog www.AmishStorys.com for contest details, and more information on the prizes. Richard from the Amish settlement of Lebanon county.

L.T. Elliot said...

Tracy changed my life and my writing for the better. He's an incredibly talented, heart-full man and I feel so lucky to have learned from him.