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This weekend, I went to my first ever writing convention, one that was focussed on crime writing in various formats.

There were three of us from the writing group in attendance, and I think we all took away different things from the day. I found it very useful in terms of crime writing, of course, but I also picked up a lot of general points about how to get the most from my page.

There was a panel discussion on publication but it wasn’t quite as helpful as I had hoped. Still, it did show me how important it is to network, because two of the three panelists with agents met them socially so didn’t have to go through the pain of repeat submissions. The other one wrote well-known crime story screenplays before branching into novels.

My learning point from that has been to get out and do the rounds because a chance conversation could be all I need!!

There were talks on police procedurals, and why some people choose not to use police in their stories; writers from overseas talking about their experiences (one of my favourite panels) and extremely prolific writers talking about why they make some of the decisions they do. The decisions seemed to be focussed on reducing the bits they find boring, like research!

Overall, it was a really good day. I limited myself to buying only three books because that seemed enough for one outing, but we did get some freebies in our goodie bags too. However, I could have spent hundreds because Ii was so keen to see what they all produced.

It has also given me a lot of food for thought for the whodunnit and I am considering a significant change to it but I will map it out first to see how it will work.

And one final point from the day – the writers there, for the most part, genuinely made me feel better about my own processes and struggles. Some plot, some don’t. Some write character plans and notes, some don’t. Some edit as they go, some don’t. Some, like me, have chosen to have a different name for their work. Most have felt like they don’t know what they’re doing at one point or another. All have their own way of approaching work. So whenever you wonder if you are doing it right – as long as you are writing, you are doing it right.

The method is entirely down to finding what works for you.

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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