It can be overwhelming at times, there is so much to learn over the 2 day period. You want to learn as much as possible. At the very start of ThrillerFest/CraftFest, CraftFest Director D.P. Lyle, Past President Katherine Antrim and Marketing Chair Jon Land welcome everyone. They set the tone, emphasize just how special and different the next 4 days will be.
What makes this a special time is that the organizers of ThrillerFest and CraftFest are focused on teaching and learning. The speakers encourage participants in their craft and the organizers, teachers, veteran participants, the culture of the conference is such that they want us to leave better writers, revitalized, encouraged and dedicated to improving our skills, our craft, or writing, our work product.
CraftFest offers 3 seminars or talks for each time slot. All the authors and editors address specific issues or problems or themes in writing. The goal is to help those of us who want to become writers develop our skills, progress in the journey. I'll cut to the chase and just post the schedule -- it speaks for itself!
But before I do, one last pitch!
ThrillerFest this Friday the 13th or this Saturday as George R. R. Martin will be 2018 ThrillerMaster!
The Schedule! And the link to more information on ThrillerFest on the International Thriller Writers Website. (http://thrillerfest.com)
2018 CRAFTFEST CLASSES DESCRIPTIONS
Wednesday, July 8 | 8:30 am – 9:20 am
Terri Nolan – WRITING AUTHENTIC HEROINES
Description: A badass female protagonist is handy to have around —especially when anarchy descends—but is she a strong character? We’ll explore multi-layered females in literature; learn how to identify genuine inner strength, overcome struggles, and present these attributes on the page to create true authentic heroines.
CHRIS GRALL – GUNS IN MOVIES AND TV: Why Hollywood Isn’t The Best Resource
Description: Writers who don’t have a firearms background or an on-call expert inevitably rely on movies and T.V. for inspiration and ideas. Unfortunately, even the most gritty and realistic productions may contain gun errors. This class will help writers spot these errors and avoid using them in their work.
Dan Fesperman – JOURNEYS ABROAD – AND INTO THE PAST
Description: Setting your fiction abroad, or in the past, can be daunting, and if you’re not careful the research can cost more than you bargained for. Here are some practical tips on how to dig out the most relevant details for characters, tone and atmosphere, no matter where or when you set your book.
Steve Berry – THE SIX C’S OF STORY STRUCTURE: It’s Not Everything – It’s Absolutely Everything
Description: Writing a novel is like building a house. There is one common factor in each and every one – a foundation. This class will explore the creation of that foundation and the 6 “C’s” necessary for success.
Wednesday, July 8 | 9:30 am – 10:20 am
David Putnam – THE ANATOMY OF VIOLENCE: What It Takes To Shoot Someone
Description: Deputy David Putnam (retired) will cover the three things needed to shoot: the legal right, the moral right, and the emotional ability to pull the trigger, as well as discussing the use of the force continuum, the seven levels of force.
David Morrell – HOW TO WRITE THRILLING COMIC BOOKS
Description: ITW’s 2009 Thriller Master David Morrell wrote a graphic novel about Captain America and comic books about Spider-Man and Wolverine. In this rare master class, he uses examples from script pages and the finished illustrations to provide an in-depth explanation of how comic books are written and produced.
D.P. Lyle, M.D. – MAKING YOUR CHARACTERS COME ALIVE
Description: It’s easy to describe characters and make them do all those cool story things. But how do you introduce them without stopping the story or boring the reader? Make them cleanly and efficiently pop off the page as living, breathing people? This class will show you how.
Steve Berry – WHO’S TELLING THE STORY AND WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: POV And Dialogue
Description: Selecting point-of-view characters is one of a writer’s most important jobs. How many should there be? Who are they? What should the psychic distance be between the reader and the characters? What should it be between the characters themselves? This class will cover those topics, along with the ins and outs of dialogue.
Wednesday, July 8 | 10:30 am – 11:20 am
Bryan DiGirolamo – FIREARMS TRAFFICKING
Description: Learn from the ATF current firearms trafficking trends and as well as emerging trends.
David Corbett – WATSONS, WHEELMEN, & SYMPATHETIC HEAVIES: The Primary Role of Secondary Characters
Description: How did forensics contribute to solving the identification mysteries at the World Trade Center? Or how exactly was Ted Bundy convicted? Or what does Lee Harvey Oswald’s death and MLK assassin James Earl Ray have in common? Find out these and other ideas for your next thriller!
Gayle Lynds – THE 8 SECRETS TO CREATING A BESTSELLING THRILLER
Description: What is the real foundation of thriller writing? Join Gayle Lynds and learn how to understand what you’re doing in your thriller, how to make it work for you, and how to weave together each aspect of writing – characters, plot, voice, story, etc.
Donald Maass – THE STORY YOU’RE NOT TELLING
Description: In this class you will learn methods to create story pleasures, character despair, a sense of era, new twists on a genre, and how to use your own resistance to achieve new heights of story.
Wednesday, July 8 | 1:00 pm – 1:50 pm
Steven James – THE SECRETS TO TWISTS THAT NO ONE IS TELLING YOU
Description: Drawing material from the award-winning book Story Trumps Structure and Steve’s latest craft book, Troubleshooting Your Novel, he will share tips and techniques for creating twists and plot pivots that readers will never see coming.
Kevin Kamrowski – FUGITIVES RECAPTURED: Case Studies From A U.S. Marshal
Description: Delve into the daily life of an actual U.S. Marshal for insights into the oldest and most versatile federal law enforcement agency. The duties of the U.S. Marshal Service include protecting the federal judiciary, apprehending federal fugitives, managing and selling seized assets acquired by criminals through illegal activities, housing and transporting federal prisoners and operating the Witness Security Program.
Robert Dugoni – STORY STRUCTURE: Keep ’Em Up All Night Turning The Page
Description: In this 50-minute class, NY Times Bestselling Author Robert Dugoni will teach you techniques to recognize and remove obstacles in the path to publication, so that the submitted (beginning) pages of your manuscript appear professional and polished.
R.L. Stine – ALL OF MY WRITING SECRETS REVEALED
Description: My Master Class on Writing For Young Audiences costs $100. In this class, you can learn all of my tricks and secrets for writing quickly and without pain – for free!
Wednesday, July 8 | 2:00 pm – 2:50 pm
Geoff Symon – BURNING QUESTIONS: Fire In Fiction
Description: Fires can blaze through any genre, whether as arson or accident or natural disaster. This workshop introduces authors to flame’s natural behavior and the aberrations that identify foul play.
Anthony Franze & Barry Lancet – WHAT LEGENDS DO: 10 Things Bestselling Authors Do To Make Their Manuscripts Sing
Description: Author Anthony Franze spent the past six years interviewing nearly 100 thriller writers–Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Lisa Gardner, and some of the bestselling authors in the world–about their rules of writing. Along the way, he realized that many of the legends in the genre identified some of the same rules. In this CraftFest course, Anthony, along with award-winning thriller writer and former editor Barry Lancet, distill the bestsellers’ rules into 10 practical tips–things you can do to immediately improve your manuscript. This course is not about “big picture” advice, but small, yet important, things you can implement right away to add a final professional touch, and ensure your manuscript is ready for an agent or editor’s eyes.
F. Paul Wilson – CONVEYING CHARACTERS
Description: Your characters are key to fashioning a successful thriller. But it’s not enough simply to make them quirky and interesting; you must make them come alive for your readers. Here’s how.
Megan Abbott – DOWN A DARK ALLEY: Setting The Mood
Description: While thrillers rely heavily on plot, on the resolution of a mystery or the unspooling of a crime, is that really why we read them? This workshop will explore mood, atmosphere, and style in the thriller—and how they can be used to heighten emotion, create suspense, and draw the reader into the story’s snares.
Wednesday, July 8 | 3:00 pm – 3:50 pm
Peter James – KEEPING THE READER TURNING THE PAGE
Description: Peter James will talk on the art of establishing and maintaining suspense all the way through a mystery novel.
Gabriela Pereira – HOW TO CONQUER THE CRAFT OF WRITING: Without Breaking Your Heart Or Losing Your Mind
DESCRIPTION: Here’s the secret about writing: survival (and also success) has nothing to do with talent, it’s all about mindset, attitude, and conquering the craft. Whether you are just starting out or have been writing for decades, the most effective way to improve as a writer is by understanding yourself more fully both on—and off—the page. In this talk, Gabriela debunks three major myths about the writing process, shares her secret formula for reaching goals, and walks you through a fundamental technique that will change your writing forever. You’ll leave this session energized and inspired, but also with the tools you need so you can get motivated and get those words on the page. Because when you conquer the craft, you won’t just write more or write better, you’ll also write smarter.
Carla Buckley & Jenny Milchman – BAD GUYS, VILLAINS, AND ANTAGONISTS, OH MY
Description: Every thriller needs a bad guy. In this workshop, Mary Higgins Clark award winner Jenny Milchman and international bestseller Carla Buckley reveal how to build a truly frightening antagonist from the inside out, and how to use multiple points of view to showcase him to your best advantage.
Mark Tavani – WAIT FOR IT: How Anticipation Fuels Suspense – And What You Can Do To Create It
Description: We all want to keep readers turning the pages, but it’s hard to know precisely what keeps them doing it. Anticipation is the invisible engine of suspense, and in this talk we’ll take a look at the tools available to each writer to keep it revved up.
Wednesday, July 8 | 4:00 pm – 4:50 pm
Martina Cole & Barry Ryan – SCRIPT 2 SCREEN
Description: Learn the tricks to making your manuscript easy to convert to the big screen.
Katherine Ramsland – BONING UP ON BEHAVIORIAL INVESTIGATIVE ANALYSIS
Description: Crime scenes always tell a story, which shows up most clearly in behavioral clues. This can mean anything from patterns that link several crimes, as serial murder or arson, to behavior that reveals psychological or sexual aberrations. As a consultant to coroners and co-writer with profilers, Ramsland will show writers how to use behavioral clues at scenes for suspense, plotting, and character development.
David Holtzman – HACKING FOR HACKS
Description: Technology has become an integral part of thrillers and will undoubtedly become more so after last year’s election. This talk will address 3 questions: How do you hack a person, including email, cellphones and connected devices? How do you hack a corporation or agency? What book-worthy cyber threats are on the horizon?
Walter Mosley – THE STRUCTURE OF REVELATION
Description: Meditations on the structure of revelation: an advanced workshop on the craft of reimagining your novel.
Wednesday, July 8 | 5:30 pm – 6:15 pm
Kathleen Antrim and Jon Land – DISCOVER HOW TO PITCH YOUR MANUSCRIPT
Description: Learn how to pitch your manuscript to agents and editors. Bestselling authors Jon Land and Kathleen Antrim teach two different approaches to hooking agents and editors.
Thursday, July 9 | 8:00 am – 8:50 am
Grant Blackwood – PREMISE LINE: The Brain Of Your Book
Description: Premise line is the most neglected tool in writer’s toolbox. Getting the premise line right dramatically increases your chances of succeeding with your story. It’s the foundation of all plotting.
Jenny Milchman & Matthew Quinn Martin – BOOK TO FILM: How Movies – And Movie Deals – Get Made
Description: Your dream is to see your thriller come to life on the big (or small) screen. Learn which novels make good candidates, what happens during the adaptation process, the differences between independent films and big budget Hollywood productions, as well as how to find screenwriters, directors, and producers who can actually make all of the above happen.
Chris Goff – TUNNEL VISION: Mastering Deep POV
Description: Thrillers are defined by the moods they elicit, promising readers heightened feelings of suspense, excitement, surprise, anticipation and anxiety, as filtered through the eyes of distinct characters. What those characters see, and how they interpret the events and information, down to the word choice of their thoughts and dialogue, is vitally important in creating a bond between the reader and the story. This session will teach you how to dig deep to create unforgettable characters.
James Rollins & W. Craig Reed – THE SCIENCE BEHIND WRITING A THRILLER: How Understanding The Field Of Neuroscience Can Make You A Better Writer
Description: Learn how the newest research on brain science can help you create characters that leap off the page and build plots that sizzle. Join James Rollins and neuroscience expert, W. Craig Reed, for an entertaining and exciting look at how stories affect your readers at a primal level and how to harness that power for your own writing.
Thursday, July 9 | 9:00 am – 9:50 am
Meg Gardiner – SUSPENSE: How To Keep Your Plot In Turmoil – And Readers Reading
Description: This course will teach you ways to create and sustain suspense in fiction. You’ll learn how to raise readers’ curiosity, needle them with anxious uncertainty, and keep them turning pages, eager to find out what happens next.
Jeff Ayers – POWER RESEARCH
Description: Whether writing non-fiction or fiction, the importance of accuracy remains the same. Information Specialist Jeff Ayers will show you how to move past Google searches to find the information you need for authenticity in your writing.
Lee Goldberg – USING TV WRITING TECHNIQUES TO MAKE YOUR THRILLER MOVE LIKE A ROCKET
Description: Readers today have a very short attention span and expect books to have the same fast-moving, propulsive storytelling they see on TV and in movies. Lee Goldberg will teach you how to use screenwriting techniques to ignite your prose and make your thrillers move at light-speed.
Jon Land & Heather Graham – COLLABORATION: When Two Are Better Than One
Description: No two writers are alike and neither are any two collaborations. Learn about the collaborative process from conception, creation and promotion, and why it might be right for you.