Wednesday, July 27, 2016

More Notes from the All Write Now Conference: Tiffany Schofield and David Armand

Here's another installment of my notes from the All Write Now! Conference earlier this month.

During a morning session Five Star Publishing representative Tiffany Schofield gave a presentation on how writers can challenge their characters.

Her presentation included a discussion on some of her favorite recent reads and how the authors challenged their characters.

Here are some notes from her presentation:

* Readers get invested in characters.

* Read twice as much as you write.

* Step out of genre.

* Keep a journal/note what stood out as a reader and jot it down.

* For character development, describe setting.

* For pacing, balance dialogue and narrative.

* Writers can take some liberties in historical fiction, but history buffs will call you out if you make a mistake.

Challenge your characters' boundaries (physical, emotional, spiritual, societal, and literary).

* Push through; challenge the norm.

* Question the status quo.

* Without failure, there is no growth.


During lunch, keynote speaker David Armand spoke about his writing journey from an adopted son in Louisiana to a college professor at Southeastern Louisiana University.

His memoir, My Mother's House, opens with the image of rotten peaches, bruised fruits left on the floor to rot. He felt the peaches represented his life as being discarded and bruised, but still bearing fruit. 

His remarks were inspirational and focused on how books saved him and made a difference in his life. Through books and writing he was able to live his grand dreams.

He recommended the book On Writing by Stephen King as one of his favorites

He also suggested writers:
* Do the work.
* Believe in yourself.
* Take the seeds from an image to create a story.

He closed with a line from the Robert Frost poem, "The Road Less Traveled."

Although his remarks were brief, they demonstrated how reading and writing can change lives.


  1. Terrific conference!
    By the way, I've noticed that even though I only post one comment, it's showing up as two on your blog. Sometimes I get really annoyed at Blogger.

    Critter Alley

    1. Hi Pat,
      It was a great conference. I'm not sure why that happens, but it is annoying.

  2. Without failure, there is no growth should be on every writer's desk. When I receive a rejection I write to improve. Thanks for a glimpse into the conference rooms.

    1. Hi Linda,
      It is such a true statement. Glad you enjoyed the comments.

  3. Thanks for another good post. It sounds like such a great conference!

  4. Thoroughly enjoyable. Tiffany always has good insight, in part because she not a writer! She comments as an agent, and even more so as an avid reader. After all, without readers we writers would have little purpose for our hard work.
    David Armand was inspiring. I admit that at first I misunderstood what he was saying. I expected some talk on how to write, on craft. But instead he simply told a little of his life story. It seemed he might just be hawking his memoir. But then it sunk in. He overcame a difficult childhood by becoming a reader and then gained enough experience and education to write and to teach. I ended up taking his afternoon session and wishing I had been in his morning one.

    1. Wish I would've been able to attend one of his sessions. Maybe you can share your notes?


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