PPWC 2017 Thursday Prequel Preview

Hey everyone!


When I first started going to conferences several years ago, one of the things that helped me decide on Pikes Peak Writers Conference (besides the awesome people I started befriending prior to the conference starting) was the fact that PPWC offers a Prequel option.


It takes place on the Thursday prior to the conference’s normal Friday start day. It is, currently, divided into two parts: a morning session and an afternoon section. Both sessions are three hours long and are an awesome add-on to the conference. You can get more details on the workshops for the prequel here.


AM Session

During the morning session you have four choices:

  • The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Tell the Story Beneath the Surface (Part One) — Presented by Donald Maass.
  • Everything You Need To Know To Write A Novel — Presented by Chris Mandeville.
  • Make Your Own Middle Earth: Worldbuilding — Presented by Mike Braff & Kevin Hearne.
  • Squared Away: How To Accurately Write Military Characters — Presented by Kevin Ikenberry (and friends)


Don’t just the names of the workshops and the presenters make you go “ooooh“? Go read the descriptions, because I have seriously gone into my registration and changed my choices several times now. But since I had to settle on one, I think I’ve finally chosen the one that I am going to go with. Which one you ask? Well, I chose…


Make Your Own Middle Earth.

Why? Well, despite enjoying writing fantasy type books, I’ve learned that one of the harder parts of writing fantasy is taking what I see in my head and putting it to paper. Some of the feedback I get on my stories is that I need to add more description of the worlds. This workshop says we get to work on building a world together. It’ll be awesome!


Here’s the description from the website:

In this three-hour long workshop you will learn the fundamentals of worldbuilding from New York Times Bestselling author Kevin Hearne and Del Rey editor Mike Braff. We’ll discuss what kinds of elements are important when building an imagined world, and will put those discussions to use as we create an one such world together as a group. After, participants will write a short piece set in the shared world and we’ll read, critique, and discuss our work as a group. Be prepared for a fun and enlightening workshop!

PM Session

And what do we have going on in the afternoon? Well:

  • The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Tell the Story Beneath the Surface (Part Two) — Presented by Donald Maass
  • Be An Agent For A Day — Presented by Kristin Nelson
  • Scrivener Boot Camp — Presented by Patrick Hester
  • Misdemeanors to Murder: Nothing but the Truth from a Criminal Lawyer and Private Eye — Presented by Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman


Again all of the amazing names for workshops. Who could truly say no to any of them?


Unfortunately I had to say no to three of them since I can only be in one place at a time. Can someone figure out a way to clone oneself? Anyways, the one I chose for the PM session…

Misdemeanors to Murder!

The why behind this one is simple. I have found myself plotting a potential paranormal mystery and have never been in that genre before. I think I am going to be okay on the paranormal aspect of this story, but not the mystery. So here I will find myself getting the knowledge I need to help me get this new project moving in a positive direction.


Here is the description from the website:

“Misdemeanors to Murder: Nothing but the Truth from a Criminal Lawyer and Private Eye” covers the history of private eyes, popular misconceptions of PIs, types of investigators, tricks of the trade, crime scenes, the relationship between PIs and police, legalities, and breakdowns of real-life investigative/criminal cases. At the end of presentation will be a Q&A.

No audio recording, please. We will provide a link so you can later download the PowerPoint presentation.

At end of course there will be a drawing for copies of our nonfiction books How Do Private Eyes Do That? and A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers: From Crimes to Courtrooms.


  1. Introduction
  2. History of the Private Eye
  3. Types of Private Investigators: One Size Doesn’t Fit All
  4. Misconceptions About PIs: Don’t Let Your PI Character Become a Cliché
  5. Tricks of the Trade: Trash Hits, Spy Gear, Apps & More
  6. Breaking the Law: Don’t Make Your PI-Character Look Like a Legal Dummy
  7. PIs and Police: Debunking Myths
  8. PIs and Crime Scenes: Cold Crime Scenes vs. “Hot” Crime Scenes
  9. Examples of Real-Life Investigative Cases: Breakdown of PI’s Tasks (Misdemeanors to Attempted Homicide)
  10. Examples of Real-Life Criminal Litigation Cases: Breakdown of Defense Lawyer’s & PI’s Tasks (Misdemeanors to Murder 1)
  11. Research Sources for Writers: PI Blogs, Websites, Online Magazines
  12. Q&A


Now, did this help you get more interested in PPWC? Are you going to be there with me?


I hope to see you there!


FYI: There are only a couple more days at the discounted price to register. You can still register at the higher price as well, but if this helps convince you, take a few minutes and go register here.


A Whisper In The Ear

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