When: May 22-25, 2015 Where: Ruby’s Inn and Convention Center, Missoula, MT.

FRIDAY, MAY 22 5:00 5:50 PM Thunderdome Right

Build an Empire on the Fly

Starting with the Wasteland as a clean slate, our panelists will create an empire from the ground up and see how far they get in 50 minutes. They’ll design everything they can think of: geography, races, culture, laws, history, etc, while our moderator will toss problems (like insurgent dissidents and earthquakes) their way. Artist Rob Carlos will sketch out things on the whiteboard as they go.

Panelists: Carol Berg, Rob Carlos, Steven Erikson, Chris Organ, Peter Orullian (Rock Lord), Eldon Thompson Moderator: Kyle Elliott (Big Kyle)

SATURDAY, MAY 23 Noon 12:50 PM Thunderdome Left

Forget the Beginnings—Writing Endings

There is a lot of focus on getting the beginning of your story or book just right, but what about the ending? A satisfying ending can make or break a book. What are some ways you can be sure that your ending won’t alienate your readers? Or better yet, keep them coming back for more? In this panel we’ll discuss this all things endings.

Panelists: C.J. Cherryh, Anne Groell, Todd Lockwood, Eldon Thompson

SATURDAY, MAY 23 5:00 5:50 PM Thunderdome Left

To the Big Screen and Back

Storytelling across mediums can be challenging. In this panel, we’ll talk about screenwriting and novelizations: how they differ, the challenges inherent in both, and how you can learn to write each.

Panelists: Terry Brooks, Eldon Thompson

10:00 10:50 AM
Thunderdome Right

Author Book Signing

All authors are invited. Terry Brooks’s signing is moderated, and we will maintain a STRICT 3 item maximum per person—zero exceptions. In order to keep the line moving, Terry can only personalize one item per person per trip through the line.

Panelists: Dave Bara, Carol Berg, S.A. Bolich, Larry Bonham, M.H. Bonham (Maggie), Terry Brooks, Brenda Carre,
C.J. Cherryh, Steven Erikson, Jane Fancher, Ann Gimpel,
James Glass, Rhiannon Held, David Keck, Todd Lockwood,
Peter Orullian (Rock Lord), Laurey Patten, John Picacio, J.A. Pitts, Joyce Reynolds-Ward, Shawn Speakman, Patrick Swenson,
Mark Teppo, Eldon Thompson
Justin Barba

1:00 1:50 PM
Upstairs Programming 3 (261)

Character and Desire

It always comes back to character. What does the hero want? What stops her from getting it? What are the consequences of failing? The progress of the protagonist connects an audience to a story. Join us as we discuss all things related to character and desire.

Panelists: S.A. Bolich, David Keck, Laurey Patten,
Eldon Thompson

3:00 3:50 PM
Thunderdome Right

What Makes Things Scary?

Dolls. Darkness. Goblins. Death. Clowns. The unknown. Why do scary things scare us? How can storytellers bring fear into stories and games? Is it better to see or imply monsters? Is gore scary or just gross? What is a good balance of suspense, surprise, escaping (or failing to) and gory death?

Panelists: John Goff, Rob McDonell (Illuminati Rob),
Peter Orullian (Rock Lord), Eldon Thompson

5:00 5:50 PM
Programming Tent 1

Writing Combat: Live Action

Our fighters, including MisCon 28 Author GoH Steven Erikson, Realms of Avalon fighter Matt Mcadoo, and author Eldon Thompson, will act out fight scenes read aloud by author Peter Orullian and MisCon 29 Author GoH Terry Brooks. They will bring to life a fight scene featuring famous weapon master Garet Jax as well as a fight scene from Peter’s new novel, Trial of Intentions. They will use actual weapons.

Panelists: Realms of Avalon, Terry Brooks, Steven Erikson,
Peter Orullian (Rock Lord), Eldon Thompson
Moderator: Ruth Frey

1:00 1:50 PM
Thunderdome Right

Organizing Story Ideas

Writers usually have a tornado of ideas swirling in their heads at any one time. What do you do with all these ideas? How do you organize them? You might get them onto the page, but sometimes they don’t live up to what’s in your mind. What do you do then? What do you do when your ideas run wild? It’s easy to feel defeated. In this panel we’ll discuss how to organize those ideas into a coherent story and juggling expectation with reality.

Panelists: S.A. Bolich, Andrea Howe, Shawn Speakman,
Mark Teppo, Eldon Thompson
Moderator: Andrea Howe

Talking "endings" with author/publisher Shawn Speakman (far left), author/artist Todd Lockwood, and acclaimed editor Anne Groell
A moment with Author Guest of Honor Terry Brooks