By Meredith Kaiser
In October, I went to my first writing conference and I learned the same lesson I learn every time I dive into a new environment: I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
In an editor’s class, I learned how to name the strengths and weaknesses of my writing and to study the specific reasons why I turn each page as I read my favorite novels. "In learning why I read, I will learn why I write," said Charlotte Cook, president of KOMENAR Publishing. And in a novelist’s class, I learned how important character conflict is in moving a story along and how the conflict within each character can drive a story.
The amorphous questions about my writing I’d never formed were clarified for me, then answered again and again throughout the weekend. An aimless wondering about how to write my novel was distilled into specific problems and then solved, theoretically anyway, before my watering eyes. I absorbed every word as writers and other professionals revealed their hard-won truths about the beautiful, perplexing, humbling struggle to share our hearts, through our words, with the world.