5 Tips from the WD Novel Writing Conference: Day 1

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The inaugural Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference, which kicked off today, is a chance for attendees to immerse themselves in the craft of novel writing: plot, characters, setting, point of view, and more. In sessions that ranged from hooking readers with a strong beginning to modulating your novel's pace, today's speakers shared a multitude of advice, including these gems:

“Pacing isn’t just about pushing your story forward. It’s also about driving home and deepening the emotional state of your character.” —Heather Webb


"We need the reader to empathize with the antagonist, believe in his or her motives, and understand why she dishes out evil. How much time have you spent developing your antagonist? It needs to be equal to the time you spent on your protagonist." —Laura DiSilverio


"You don't have to be the best writer in the world, you just have to be the best person to tell the story you want." —Philip Athans


"The character arc of a morally tainted hero shows how he comes to grips with his moral flaw." —David Corbett


“A book that hasn’t been read is just a colorful doorstop. It’s our job as writers to get readers to read our work. In order to do that, we have to reach out and develop relationships in this business.“ —Garth Stein

Thanks to the attendees and speakers for a terrific first day!

Wishing you could join the fun? Save the date for the Writer's Digest Annual Conference, August 18-20 in New York.