Vote for DFWcon 2014 Classes!

You know what’s great?  Having an awesome class line-up for DFWcon 2014, of course!

But you know what would be even greater?  Getting to VOTE on the classes.

Stay with me here.  Wouldn’t it be kind of neat if some of the speakers put up a short list of potential class descriptions, so we could vote ahead of time for which ones we wanted them to teach?

I would submit that that would be super cool.  Let’s try it out!

Here are five descriptions for potential classes.  We can run two of them.  (It would be *awesome* to run all five, but time and space is limited enough that we can only afford two from this category.)

1.  Lies My English Teacher Told Me

They have been handed down as iron-clad commandments for generations.  Don’t split your infinitives.  Don’t end a sentence with a preposition.  And whatever you do, never, EVER start a sentence with ‘and’.  In this class, we’ll examine the most commonly quoted ‘rules of writing’ to discover when and how to break them – and which ones should never be followed at all.

2.  The Comma Sutra: A Better-Punctuation Guide to Spicing Up Your Text Life

Does your writing lack a certain… variety?  Does your manuscript suffer from premature exclamations, heavy or abnormally frequent periods, or have difficulty maintaining even a semi-colon?   Don’t suffer in silence!   You too can enjoy the satisfaction and self-confidence that comes with knowing how to please your critique partner.   In this class, we’ll practice the ins and outs of good punctuation (and yes, it WILL be raunchy.)  Join us, won’t you, as we embark on a journey of true textual healing.

3.  Tenth-Grade English for First-Rate Writers

Maybe you were out sick on the day Mrs. Grimsby covered prepositions, or maybe you’ve just gotten rusty over the years.  Regardless, it’s hard to feel confident that you haven’t misplaced your modifiers when you’re not exactly sure what a modifier is, or to avoid comma splices when you don’t know what you’re splicing.  This class will take you back to the basics, specifically targeting the essentials of English grammar that writers most frequently struggle with, and providing resources to help you continue developing your skills and confidence.

4.  Dialect to Die For

When it comes to dialect, we often hear that ‘less is more’.  So how do you render a good Scottish brogue, or Southern drawl – and for that matter, how can you give a non-English-speaking character a voice that’s distinct but still readable?  In this class, we’ll examine how to represent accents and speakers of other languages in a way that captures their voices without reducing them to verbal tics, gimmicks, or stereotypes.

5.  Punching Up Your Prose

If your book were a movie, it would be an instant classic.  A stellar premise.  Unforgettable characters.  Mind-blowing plot turns.   And yet you keep hearing (or keep suspecting) that maybe your writing isn’t doing it justice.  The spelling and grammar are fine.  You’ve got a nice balance of description, dialogue, and action.  But somehow the words on the page aren’t fully conveying the tension of the tight parts, or the loveliness of the pretty parts, or the shocking-ness of the shocking parts.  In this class, we’ll study the art of changing your writing style and word choice to complement the mood of any given scene – and also reveal handy techniques for turning every chapter of your manuscript into a lean, mean, page-turning machine.

All right!  Now to the voting.  Which of those sounds the most awesomely unmissable?

And for the second part – remember, we’re running two of these!  Assuming that your first-choice class is already on the schedule, what other class would you ALSO like to attend?

Just to be clear: you should only vote once per poll, BUT you do not need to be registered for DFWcon 2014 yet in order to vote.  We’ll leave the polls open until midnight on December 1st December 2nd!  Please share this with anyone who might be interested in the conference – the response we get with this class set will help us determine whether to offer voting for other classes as well!

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