Yesterday I taught a three-hour workshop at the annual Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference, held at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue. The organizers had told me to bring about 70 hand-outs. However, on Saturday afternoon there turned out to be only two tracks of programming, so I got over 300 people. During the three hours, people came and went as each kept appointments to pitch their work to the agents and editors present -- a prime attraction at this sort of conference. Hotel workers had to open up partitions between two rooms to accommodate everyone at the workshop.
It went well, even though this kind of thing is exhausting for everybody. I talk for about two hours out of the three. The attendees are expected to write, in stages, an entire scene during the course of the workshop. We cover dialogue, description, point of view, characters' thoughts, the shape of a scene, different kinds of scenes, using exposition, ordering scenes -- a lot. At the end they are dazed with information overload, and I am hoarse. I like it.
I also taught a smaller, shorter workshop on Friday, on writing SF. Friday was enlivened by a different sort of communication as well: my very first ever obscene fan mail. And no, whoever you are, I do not want to work in a futuristic brothel. I'll stick to writing and teaching.