“Life, the Universe, and Everything” Writing Conference


Last weekend I had the mind-blowing experience of attending the “Life, the Universe, and Everything” (LTUE) sci/fi fantasy writers conference.  Networking opportunities like these don’t come my way often and it’s great to be able to shake hands with some of the local writing icons.  Some of my favorites include writing team Tracy and Laura Hickman, David Wolverton, and Howard Taylor.

Here are some of the take home messages that resonated with me:

1. If you plan on writing a series or multiple books with the same characters and world, it is important to create a book bible to collect all the information about characters, concepts, and places.  Each time a new fact is presented, whether it be about a character, setting, or something else, a note is made in the bible.  When it’s time to return to that idea or place then you have some reference notes.  This is a lifesaver for maintaining continuity and consistency.

2. Point of view is far more than deciding whether to use 1st person or 3rd person, you must also consider which characters situation is going to create the most resonance for the reader.  Usually the POV character is the one who has the most to lose in a scene.  However, a huge amount of sympathy can be generated in the reader if the POV is a character who has a deep emotional connection to the character in trouble.

3. Writing is 10% skill and 90% good habits.  It doesn’t matter how good you are at writing if the words never get to the page.  Those stories don’t do anyone any good if they stay locked in a file somewhere.  Writing, refining, and publishing and the three keys to achieving success in the writing world.

In the weeks to come I’ll share notes from some of my favorite sessions.

Until then –

Happy Writing!


About Jodi

Jodi L. Milner is a writer, mandala enthusiast, and educator. Her epic fantasy novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, was published in November 2018 and rereleased in Jan 2020. She has been published in several anthologies. When not writing, she can be found folding children and feeding the laundry, occasionally in that order.
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9 Responses to “Life, the Universe, and Everything” Writing Conference

  1. Amy Freeman says:

    Awesome info, Jodi. SO jealous. I wish I could have gone! Thanks for sharing what you learned. I sure you learned a ton.

    • tsuchigari says:

      It was like a marathon, class after class with no breaks for 10 hours a day. There was lots of great stuff presented. I still think the ANWA conference is a little better quality, you get what you pay for right?

  2. Good stuff.
    Although, on POV character, sometimes the POV “holder” can be a peripheral character, like Dr. Watson in Sherlock Holmes.

    • tsuchigari says:

      They actually used that as an example – Doyle knew that he could never do Sherlock justice, he was just too smart. However, Watson was a character who was very close to Sherlock and one that readers could identify with.

  3. ericjbaker says:

    The POV section is interesting. It makes me think about my various projects and if I’m making the right choices in that regard.

    • tsuchigari says:

      I had to do some serious thinking about that as well, some of my POV characters are just too big to be identified with. However, thinking about POV in these terms I felt was very freeing. I’m no longer stuck being forced to use a POV that I don’t feel comfortable with.

      • ericjbaker says:

        I’ve read many times that it’s a no-no to change POV within a scene, but some of the most famous writers in the world do it all the time. I think I can pull it off, but I also think that “amateur” writers are given a shorter leash when it comes to breaking rules.

        It’s less worrisome with first person, making that a safer route.

        I think this post just inspired me to write one of my own about POV. Thanks! I’ll give you credit.

        • tsuchigari says:

          Head hopping during a scene is one of my major pet peeves and I think lately more and more people starting to catch the same vibe that it’s against the rules. However, there’s nothing wrong with writing short scenes within chapters and changing the POV between scenes.

          Thanks for the credit, you rock!

  4. Pingback: Choosing a Character POV | ericjohnbaker

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