Arisia Convention This weekend!

Are you coming to Arisia, or thinking about it?  Here’s where to find me on panels, with some fantastic people!


If You Didn’t Know, Now You Know: SFF Divination Marina 2 (2E), 5:30pm – 6:45pm

Charlie Boatner (moderator), Heather Urbanski, Greer Gilman, E. C. Ambrose, Heather Albano

SFF Authors use foreknowledge of events, whether predictive models, visions, or prophecy, to give characters future knowledge, often to solve story problems. In this panel, we’ll look at the problems this foreknowledge creates, for the characters, for the author, and for the reader.


The Mushy Middle: Conquering the Midpoint Swamp Marina 2 (2E), 10am – 11:15am

E. C. Ambrose (moderator), Victoria “V.E.” Schwab, Lauren M. Roy, Greg R. Fishbone, Ken Schneyer

What happens when you come up with an intriguing premise, but around page 50, your story falls apart? Our panelists will discuss the pitfalls of navigating the second act swamp; how they plot; ways to clarify your hero’s journey; coping strategies including beat sheets, the mini movie method, and mirroring; various ways to brainstorm past a block; and other ways to cut the flab from that mushy middle.

Emotional Impact — How to Make Readers Care
Faneuil (3W), 1pm – 2:15pm

E. C. Ambrose (moderator), Timothy Goyette, Jess Barber, Jeanne Cavelos, Morgan Crooks

No matter how great your plot is, if the readers don’t care, you’ll slip to the bottom to the to-be-read pile. Come learn how to use emotional stakes to add conflict to every page, use transformational arcs to create an inner struggle, delineate compelling flaws without losing reader sympathy, make your audience connect on a primal level, and create stories and characters that break readers’ hearts and keep them turning pages.

SFF Relationship Goals Bulfinch (3W), 4pm – 5:15pm

Julia Rios (moderator), Grant Carrington, Diana Pho, Meredith Schwartz, E. C. Ambrose

SFF doesn’t always have the best reputation when it comes to depicting romantic relationships, but that doesn’t mean that respectful, loving partnerships are nowhere to be found. In this panel, we will explore the good ones, where to find them, and what commonalities they might share. What can authors do to feature good relationships in their stories?

Writing Heart-Pounding Sci-Fantasy Thrillers
Douglas (3W), 1pm – 2:15pm

E. C. Ambrose (moderator), Don Chase, Timothy Goyette, Keith Yatsuhashi, John Sundman

Everyone loves action that doesn’t quit. Our panel of thriller writers will discuss how to create a compelling, fast paced narrative, including how to jump-start the action in the first 5-page. Learn how to weave in character backstory and dialogue so it doesn’t slow down your plot. How does thriller worldbuilding differ for the sci-fi and fantasy genres; including high stakes, misdirection, and “ticking bomb” to keep the reader invested until the last page.

Writing Series, Sequels, and Spin-Offs
Douglas (3W), 2:30pm – 3:45pm

LJ Cohen (moderator), ML Brennan, Victoria “V.E.” Schwab, E. C. Ambrose, Craig Shaw Gardner

It’s no secret that book series have a better chance of discoverability. What’s the secret to writing a successful series? How do you plan and develop multi-book series that sell? Create series arcs? And how do you keep track of multiple plotlines and characters across many books? How can you expand existing material to create a series? And when is it time to pull the plug and move onto other things?

hope to see you there!

About E. C. Ambrose

I spend as much time in my office as I possibly can--thinking up terrible things to do to people who don't exist.
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