Convention: Day 3


About an hour ago I suddenly realised that I was shattered and couldn’t work out why. Then I realised that I’d either been attending panels, talking on panels or stewarding since 10am and it was now 6.30pm. In other words, I’d been actively doing stuff for longer than an average working day.

And I wondered why I was shattered?

I only did an hour of stewarding today, but that was long enough with everything else I was up to today. There were panels on Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan universe (mostly “we love it, shall we count the ways?”) and whether the return of Doctor Who is getting children into SF (yes, let us count the ways). There was an interview with Paul Cornell who only collapsed into giggles once and said interesting things about Doctor Who, Christianity and comics. Apparently the new Doctor is Patrick Moore’s head on an underwear model’s body (to quote Moffat) and Paul wants to be in the part of the Church that schisms off and allows gay marriage in church with priests, but he doesn’t want to preach his faith through his writing because that’s not what he is.

There was a fascinating writing workshop with Paul Cornell who had a lot of interesting things to say from both a novelist and a script-writing point of view. For both, though, he emphasises having a plot. The plot is the thing. If you have no plot then it doesn’t matter about characterisation and style, you have crap. Also it is possible to train friends into giving you useful feedback through positive feedback to them and not killing them when they point out the bits that need work.

My panel did not end in mass slaughter, which was impressive, and people actually enjoyed it apparently. Hooray!

I am speaking on another panel this evening, on strong women in Doctor Who. I spotted two problems with it:

1. It is at 10pm. I shall need a lot of caffeine to be intelligent.
2. Although I am not talking with Paul Cornell this time, Rob Shearman (writer of ‘Dalek’ among other Who-ish things) is on the panel. So I have to be intelligent about women in Doctor Who with a Who writer. Again.

I suppose that saying “Donna!” through the whole panel isn’t quite what they’re looking for…

Right now I’m taking a bit of a break and planning to turn up to the fancy dress/cabaret late because I needed a break from hot, crowded rooms for a while. Although the hotel staff are lovely and the food is infinitely better than it was in Hinckley, we do have an issue with the heating here. There is rather a lot of it!

I need caffeine. Pint of Diet Coke anyone?

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