In the most general terms, my approach to writing is to write the book I want to read, and hope other people want to read it too.
I take the same approach when I’m in charge of programming at a convention—that is, I try to put together panels built around writing topics that I’m struggling with and that I want to hear a lot of smart people talk about. That is, for the most part. For five years I had the honor and pleasure of teaching at a week-long writing workshop called Viable Paradise (recommended, by the way), and so based on that experience, I also like to throw in some of the more common problems I saw coming up among students.
I am, just now, about to start putting together the schedule for Narrativity, to be held (absent a new COVID upsurge) over Labor Day Weekend. Looking through the proposed list of panels—the ones I came up with, and the ones suggested by others—it’s kind of a drag we’re not going to be able to do them all. As a rule, we pick which ones make the cut by how many people are eager to be on them, although I reserve the right to say, “No, we’re doing that one cuz I wanna.”
Narrativity is small, with single-track programming that includes breaks for lunch and supper, so the idea is that most people will be at every panel, which leads to what is, for me, the fun part: trying to figure out the flow, that is, how each panel feeds into the next one, as well as which ones are likely to generate the best discussion over the supper break or between days.
Anyway, consider the post an advertisement for the convention, if you’d like, although mostly I’m just procrastinating before diving into the brutal chore of figuring out how many panels we aren’t going to have time for.