WonderCon Day Three Highlights-All About Writing

Hello friends :)

Happy Easter, if you celebrate it, or if not, Happy Bunny Appreciation Day! Hope you guys all had a WONDERFUL Sunday!

Today was the last day of WonderCon :( Sad Face! Its always kind of a bittersweet ending, the last day of con. On one hand, you’re exhausted, your feet are killing you and you just to get some GOOD sleep. On the other hand, you’ve had a GREAT weekend and you never want it to end because you know the next con isn’t for awhile.

Friday was all about Harry Potter and promoting the 21 and over Harry Potter group that I’m part of, the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army, and promoting our event that’s taking place April 13th, the second annual Harry Potter Roller Skating Night! You can read all about that here.

Yesterday was all about being a Shadowhunter, while I attended the City of Bones panel, where they premiered the first FULL LENGTH trailer of City of Bones, which hits theaters August 23rd. The trailer is slated to premiere tomorrow, on iTunes, and I will do my best to post it on here as soon as I know. I was also granted a rare opportunity to have a personalized meet and greet with Cassandra Clare, Jamie Campbell Bower, Lily Collins and Kevin Zegers. Read all about it here, complete with PICTURES.

Today was alllll about writing.

We all know I want to be a writer…well, lets rephrase that. I AM a writer, but I would like to make it my actual career. I write this blog as MUCH as I can, and I have two novels for the Kindle and I’m dabbling with a third. Writing is very important to me, especially in the young adult area.

Today there was a panel titled ” Capacity for the Fantastic: Writing for Teens and Tweens”.

To make description matters easier, this is straight from the program: “Given their flexibility and ability to embrace the fantastic and wondrous, what can’t one write about for middle graders and up? LeAnna Herrera of Mysterious Galaxy bookstore queries the limits with authors Jenn Reese (Above World, Mirage), Jessica Brody (Unremembered), James Morris (Skybound), Nancy Holder (Wolf Spring Chronicles), Cecil Castellucci (The Year of the Beasts) and Greg Van Eekhout (The Boy at the End of the World).”

I immediately saw this and was like YES! Love it! I love getting writing advice, and hearing from other authors. This is what inspired the section of my blog, where I collect writing advice.

And it was a TRULY great panel. Check out some pictures below.


From left to right: Nancy, James, Cecil, LeAnna, Jessica, Jenn and Greg.

authors right side

authors left side

Since young adult/new adult is the sort of genre I focus on, it was definitely the perfect panel to attend. They all had great advice and great insight on how writing for these age groups can be. Jenn and Greg write for mostly middle grade, and pointed out that it was a fun thing to be able to open up things for the age groups that are really starting to discover the world outside of home. Greg pointed out that it was fun to write science fiction for middle grade because you could be so straight forward with it.

The young adult authors like Jessica, Nancy and Cecil were super awesome as well. They really pointed out how the variety of what they can write has really stretched, how we can have contemporary and science fiction and fantasy or all three at once. They also expressed that there doesn’t seem to be limitations on the subject matter and how books are so open nowadays.

They also gave great advice on writing, and to keep pushing it. A member of the audience asked about balancing writing with, well, life and they all just sort of agreed that you just have to write. Even if its just 100 words a day, like Greg said, or a couple hours, like Jessica said, the point is to just write! And a great, quotable piece of advice from Jessica, “Don’t be afraid to write badly. When you write crap, crap makes really good fertilizer”. I chuckled a bit at this one but its true. I think I spend a lot of time wondering if what I’m writing is GOOD, when I should just be straight out WRITING.

Then, a pleasant surprise, Cecil Castellucci was holding a writing workshop on Heroes and Villains immediately after and I HAD to go. I couldn’t stay the entire time but I got a lot from it.

cecil writing

I think that writing a character, a defining character that people remember is difficult at times but Cecil came up with a good sort of outline on how to do it. Basically, a main character, a good one will have the same five things that Superman has:

1. Super Power (which doesn’t necessarily have to be a SUPER power)
2. Something that he/she loves
3. a Weakness, which can often times be connected to #2
4. An enemy
5. A Secret Hiding Place (which can get metaphorical)

It was SUPER interesting, and really helpful and I was glad I was able to attend that for a little bit, because I always love getting me some writing advice!

I also got the chance to personally meet Jessica Brody afterwards, at the Mysterious Galaxy booth (I totally wish their stores were closer to me!). She was super sweet, and signed a book plate for me to put in her book, Unremembered. I’m reading it on Kindle but now I must buy a copy to put my bookplate in!

jessica brody

We talked about her book a bit, and about writing and of course, I told her I was trying to be a writer. The best part was her response: “Don’t try to be a writer, just be one.” It was a VERY great piece of advice.

I also picked up a book by James Morris, one of the other panelists. The book is called Skybound, and its the first in his planned trilogy, The Three Kingdoms trilogy. I purchased it while checking out the Mysterious Galaxy booth, and picked myself up an autographed copy while I was at it.

james morris

Now the other authors’ books all sounded really super interesting as well, but I think I went for this book because of two reasons. One, I do like the premise of the book. The earth is split into three kingdoms: the sky, the surface and the ocean. The main character lives in the run down, and terrible surface kingdom and wants to escape to the sky kingdom, and kind of gets involved in a war, and of course, finds himself more important that he would have ever thought. I can’t wait to read it. However, I also picked it up because I admire James a lot. He’s 18 years old, a high school senior AND self-published. I really admire young people, like me (though there’s a 7 year difference), that write and really pursue it. And I find it extremely admirable and impressive that its self published and he’s been getting noticed. He’s going to be appearing at an event in San Diego in May, I believe, and he’s going to have a booth at Comic Con so DEFINITELY check it out.

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All in all, a great day and a great weekend at WonderCon. It was my first time at this convention and I hope its not my last. I know that it’ll probably make its way back to San Francisco next year but I’m happy to travel to San Fran for this convention. It could be a nice little mini vacation.

I hope that all of you who were able to attend WonderCon had just as much of a blast as I did and I was super excited to meet all the new people that I did, and hand out my blog calling cards!

Watch out for posts on the new Doctor Who episode, Game of Thrones and more this week!

2 thoughts on “WonderCon Day Three Highlights-All About Writing

  1. Megan says:

    Met James at Con Dor and got a chance to talk to him at Wonder Con to, he and his mom are both so sweet. Almost done reading the book and I really like it! Let me know what you think!

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