Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Being on Panels

I've decided to take a break from reading political news, because I find it depressing. But I still want to begin my day by reading on the Internet. So I've read a mixture of stuff, including Michelle Sagara's post on how panels are not about you, the individual, maybe-not-so-famous author.

I did a little cringing, because I was on a panel at Convergence on the short fiction of Eleanor Arnason, and I took the panel over. I don't know what came over me: a brief fit of madness, maybe. Anyway, I talked about current writing and future plans for writing and actually described plots. I don't usually do this, and I wish I had kept quiet and let the other panelists talk about me.

In any case, Michelle Sagara is right: telling the plots of your fiction is a no-no, though I have always done it. But not usually on panels.

But I'm still inclined to think the panels I'm on are about me and my ideas. I don't do panels unless I have something to say about the topic, and then I really want to say it. If I am lucky, the other panelists will be equally interested in the topic and eager to talk.

I should add that I spent years learning how to talk intelligently in front of an audience, and I usually do not walk into panels cold. I have thought about the topic and sometimes have notes.


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