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BitterCon - the Convention right in your back yard
meow, cat, Siamese, catty
Some interesting exploration of the ethical issues, through a number of literary sources.
1st-Dec-2017 12:57 pm - Let's Bittercon Again!
meow, cat, Siamese, catty
The Bittercon community's been rather quiet for the past few years, but I'm sure there are lots of conventions that we'd like to go to but haven't been able to get to, whether because of distance or finances or health or some other reason. I know that several of the cons I've wanted to go to as a vendor have either waitlisted us for booths, or have become unprofitable to the point that we can't afford to keep going.

So even if we aren't bitter (resentful) about not being able to go, not going may well have been a bitter (tearful) choice. So let's make up for it by having a virtual convention online. Just like conventions are a great way to meet new friends in person, a Bittercon post discussing a programming panel we'd like to have attended can be a way to meet new friends online and have a lively discussion in the comments.

Let's Go!
30th-Jul-2014 09:32 pm - World Con
A Birthday
It's coming.

They've posted the program here: http://guide.loncon3.org/

Anyone bitter?

We'd need people to play hosts.  That is, to have a post (or two, or several) about a con-typical topic (stealing from the program is encouraged), declare it part of bittercon and link back here, and then post a link here.
31st-Aug-2013 09:57 pm - city and town and country and wilds
A topic of my own devising.  Here.
30th-Aug-2013 08:22 pm - Intricate Worlds
How do you build an intricate fantasy world that holds up to intensive fan interrogation?

Discussed here.
26th-Aug-2013 07:55 pm - lone star program guide
A Birthday
For those that want some inspiration.


If you pick a tag, you can filter them.
8th-Aug-2013 07:01 pm - LoneStarCon3
A Birthday
August 29 to September 2

Anyone feeling bitter enough to stage some topics, or a topic?
22nd-May-2013 09:14 pm - balticon's this weekend
A Birthday
Anyone interested in being bitter?  To stage a topic or two?

(If you haven't tried it before -- you do it by posting something on a con-panel-like topic -- you can rip off one of Balticon's from here -- linking back to here, and putting a posting here to point it out.  Then you watch the discussion and keep it on topic, or not if you find the digressions more interesting.)
23rd-Feb-2013 08:16 pm - Can a hero suffer too much?
This was prompted by kate_nepveu's Arisia panel about "How to Be a Fan of Problematic Things". But no one much reads my journal, and I couldn't get my thoughts in order fast enough to hijack the original thread, so I'm going to use this community as a virtual con for something that I've been pondering.

When people say a story is "problematic", we usually expect sexism, racism, or some other version of tribalism, but what about protagonists who are abused and humiliated simply because they are the protagonist? Not "suffering builds character", but stories where it's clear the universe author is determined to never let them get a fair chance, and anything good that happens is always a set up for a fall. This is the opposite of Mary Sue and the extreme case of a very common piece of writing advice, and I was wondering if I was alone in being uncomfortable with it.

And what if some readers are partly responsible? There is a, well, I guess it's more a medium than sub-genre, where someone writes an illustrated prose series and asks the readers to suggest what the protagonist should do next. Then the author decides which suggestions to use, which ignore, and which ones are mentioned followed by a couple paragraphs explaining why the protagonist would never consider doing that (and then writes the results and often extra actions taken).

About a month ago I started following one of these with the subtitle "Making a Cat Cry: the Adventure" (at least it warns you upfront what you're getting into) and is my new official guilty pleasure. I haven't actually looked at the forums where the suggestions are made (didn't try until I started writing this, and they are doing forum maintenance this weekend), but the suggestions that appear in the narrative are an interesting insight into the mindset of the readers. Most are well-intentioned, though they often disagree with each other, and the sheer number of people involved can cause problems for the heroine (they once tried to use this to her benefit, and it even almost worked). However, other readers offer rather reckless suggestions, either out of malice or because they know everything will backfire eventually and just want to speed things up by skipping the false hopes.

So, when making/watching a protagonist suffer, how much is too much?
30th-Aug-2012 07:08 pm - Drill Down Into Story Ideas
A Birthday
Chicom is starting, and so am I.

Many people ask authors where they get their idea . This panel asks: "How do you develop your ideas into stories?" We will take an idea or two and work on how we would turn it into a story."

In my post I offer a few comments on developing ideas, and start off a few of my own -- for further development.  Other suggestions welcome.
18th-Aug-2012 11:06 pm - Chicon is coming
A Birthday
They've posted the program guide, ripe for ripping off.  Anyone else thinking of being bitter?

If you've never done one before, you can just choose a program topic -- stealing from the guide is fine, and so is not -- write a post on it (with a link back to this group), and post that's open for bittercon.
15th-Nov-2011 06:40 pm - Philcon
A Birthday
is this weekend -- November 18-20.

Anyone feeling bitter?
5th-Sep-2011 10:38 am - I don't live in Kansas
writing tools
In response to aliettedb's excellent post I started to reply to a comment, and it got overly long, so I posted it on my own journal. This wasn't a con topic anywhere that I'm aware of recently, but 'writing the Other' is never not relevant IMHO.
18th-Aug-2011 11:58 pm - Consistent Magic Systems in Fantasy
On magic systems.  Here.
18th-Aug-2011 07:20 am - looking over webcomics
Reading Desk
It's traditional to claim it's about neglected and overlooked, but there being no standard for that:

Looking over webcomics, to recommend good ones.
17th-Aug-2011 07:05 pm - Creating Gods
Worldcon is starting and so are we.

Creating Gods.
13th-Aug-2011 03:32 pm - Renovation
A Birthday
August 17-21.

Anyone feeling bitter?

Or inspired by this?

21st-Jul-2011 11:00 pm - The use of history
Inspired by this article by la_marquise_de_, I've written a short comment on cultural appropriation here.


This wasn't part of any recent convention programming that I'm aware of, but la_marquise_de_ - a trained historian - hits the nail on the head and creates good discussion, so I felt it would fit here.
21st-Jul-2011 11:55 am - Authorial Intent - an Afterthought
dry inkwell
More thoughts on authorial intent - who is the author, anyway?

(Reposted since LJ appears to have locked the post. I mean, I didn't.)
9th-Jul-2011 04:50 pm - Readercon
A Birthday
Sherwood pointed out the list of Readercon topics over at sartorias and some people discussed the possibility of a bittercon. . . but that's only feasible if people are willing to host topics. . .

July 14-17
6th-Sep-2010 07:50 pm - the grim reaper in fiction
A Birthday
There's nothing quite like death in a story to set the tone.

Discussion here.
4th-Sep-2010 05:32 pm - a range of worlds
A Birthday
The possibilities in world-building here.
A Birthday
Discussion on the fantasy city here.
31st-Aug-2010 06:23 pm - worldcon: September 2nd - 6th, 2010
A Birthday
Anyone bitter?

Anyone bitter enough to host topics?

Updated: Found this for anyone who wants to steal an actual Worldcon topic.
A Birthday
Call it a Mythcon panel. . . .

8th-Jul-2010 07:38 pm - on frying pans and fires
A Birthday
Well, Readercon started, so I stole an idea from there.

Discussion of danger and comfort and where you start.
27th-Jun-2010 11:09 pm - anyone feeling mythic?
A Birthday
Mythcon July 9-12, 2010

Anyone else interested in doing some bittercon?

Their schedule here (warning:  PDF) if anyone's interested in theft.

Update:  And Readercon is the 8th-12th!  Well, here's its program guide for theft.
14th-Feb-2010 12:24 am - The Mail Order Firm in Schenectady
A Birthday
Ideas, and how they become stories.

Discussion here.
13th-Feb-2010 12:07 am - Fantastic Settings
A Birthday
The forest, the Arcadian countryside, the city, the mountains -- the settings of fantasy.

Discussion here.
12th-Feb-2010 12:09 am - How Many Magicians?
A Birthday
Magic -- no matter what form you use, it matters how much of it is floating about your world.

Discussion here.
8th-Feb-2010 08:30 pm - Boskone is Feb 12-14
A Birthday
Which means, of course, that so is bittercon.  Ready your topic, prepare to post your comments, mark it off on the calendar. . . .
1st-Nov-2009 10:22 pm - Progress reports
dry inkwell
sartorias, in her post about WFC listed a number of intrigueing topics. The one that caught my eye was

Writers' processes, and how to talk about that on line (why sometimes it's boring, sometimes downright irritating, and when fascinating)

With the beginning of Nano- and writing-related posts all over the place that seems to be a good time to gauge reader reactions to writers' progress reports.

(link here [includes a poll])
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