SiWC Tips 'n' Tricks

Welcome to the first installment of our BRAND NEW blog feature.

From time to time, we'll be bringing you writing tidbits, suggestions, advice, and ideas from past and present presenters and other friends of the conference.

We'd love to hear your thoughts as we go along. Add your comments, and feel free to start writing-related conversations with other commenters right here in the blog comments.

Our first tip comes from Michael Slade:

SLADE'S RULE: LIVE YOUR FICTION. With a handheld recorder and a notebook, get out in the real world and act out your story. You'll gather many more details than your imagination will conceive, and your story will "suspend disbelief" because it's grounded in reality. For RED SNOW, Slade acted out the plot at Whistler. For EVIL EYE, he chased himself across Zimbabwe and Botswana. For BED OF NAILS, he hacked his way into the jungle and crawled through overgrown cannibal caves littered with hundreds of orange skeletons in the Cook Islands. Plot in a room and you might as we'll be serving life in prison.

Thanks, Slade! Sounds like a great excuse to set our books in places we'd really like to see, though there is that pesky matter of budget to consider. But as someone who's spent way too much time locked in my house in front of the computer this week, I say getting out in the world is great advice, not only to grond our stories in reality, but also to let us see and be inspired by what's out there, whether it's in Botswana or just down the street from where we live.

We can't help but wonder, though, whether there's a youtube video of you acting out RED SNOW in Whistler....