I first stumbled on the RWA in 2006. I was teaching my first class in the Writers’ Program at UCLA. Called “Your Perfect Pitch Package,” it was for writers looking to find an agent. I was scouring the web for trustworthy info to give my students – so much of what I saw was woefully inaccurate – and then hit the jackpot: the RWA’s website. I was astounded at the bounty of savvy, up-to-date, usable info, links, and advice — and all of it so welcoming, so writer-friendly. It was genius. There was info on agents, pitching, writing, networking, and my absolute favorite, a cache of synopses so brilliantly written that I used them as examples for my students.
After my book Wired for Story was published, I had the pleasure of speaking at many RWA conferences – in San Antonio in 2014, and in Tampa, San Diego, Silicon Valley – and I’ve learned something new every time. In fact, there’s a line in my new book, Story Genius, that came from a brilliant romance writer in my workshop in Tampa. We were talking about how the public so misunderstands what it takes to write a novel. Her fans had been clamoring for the next in her series, and she sighed, lamenting: “They think I’d write more if only I learned to type faster.”
Right! As if all you have to do to be a successful writer is to sit down and type! There’s so much more to it than that. That’s why I wrote Story Genius, which harnesses what the reader’s brain is wired to crave, seek out, and respond to — facts I discussed in a more theoretical way in Wired for Story — and shows writers, step-by-step, how to write a novel all the way through, from the inside out.
I’m thrilled about the new book, and can’t wait to share what I’ve learned with you at the California Dreamin’ Conference in March, and to learn from you. Because there’s nothing I love more than being in a room full of writers (but, um, don’t tell my husband I said that).
Lisa Cron is the author of Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence, and her August 2016 release, Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages that Go Nowhere).
Lisa has worked in publishing at W.W. Norton, as an agent at the Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency, as a producer on shows for Showtime and CourtTV, and as a story consultant for Warner Brothers and the William Morris Agency. Since 2006, she’s been an instructor in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.
Lisa works with writers, nonprofits, educators and organizations, helping them master the unparalleled power of story, so they can move people to action – whether that action is turning the pages of a compelling novel, trying a new product, or taking to the streets to change the world for the better.