Hi, friends! Thanks so much for stopping by here. So far Operation House Hunt is well under way. It's a weird feeling being in between homes and not knowing where we'll live yet. But alas, there is always dear old mom and dad to take us in. lol
Needless to say, there's a whole lot happening right now. But finding retreat in the blogosphere is a welcome relief.
Congrats to SHARI BIRD who is the random.org winner of the Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading from my last blog post. Yay for Shari!!
I mentioned a few posts ago about the SCBWI regional workshop I went to, and wanted to leave you with a few notes I took while I was there. I sat in on the MG track with author Gordon Korman and kid lit agent Joanna Volpe.
** Gordon, who's been writing since age 12, made a comment that resonated. He mentioned how most writers think they have to write from experience, but how really, writers should be writing from observation as well. Makes a lot of sense, and I think most of us probably do that anyway.
** Gordon had us do an exercise where we wrote an action scene that involved these three things: a situation, something that goes wrong in that situation, and how the character (s) get out of it. Pretty basic stuff. But you should have heard some of the scenes writers whipped up in ten minutes time spontaneously.
** Joanna talked about pacing and how every scene must move the story right to the next. If you can remove a scene without cutting any pertinent info to the plot, do it.
** Joanna also discussed plot and how all story lines must tie together. She broke it down like this:
E = emotional plot P = action plot S1 = subplot one S2 = subplot two
They must intertwine to create the story as a whole.
The start of the story should deal with feelings of the character's current situation.
The first change in the story, or Gateway 1, must bring about a point of no return.
She also mentioned how:
* we should NEVER write to the trends
* pay attention to chapter books and YA
* know what types of voices kids are responding to
* writing for kids means your story has to heave HEART. It should be tried and true. MG is different from YA in that younger tweens believe they can change the world.
* in every MG story, there must be something the MC has learned
* coincidence in a story weakens the plot. Every occurrence and MUST feel authentic to the story.
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* kids get involved in stories when the stakes are high
* editors need a BIG story with high stakes and lots of suspense
Something else Gordon mentioned was how, as writers, it's important to step out of our comfort zones in order to push ourselves to our optimum performance. I couldn't agree more. Every time I try a new genre, I amaze myself at what I can do, even though I was certain I couldn't make it happen before writing the first draft.
Gordon also said he likes to imagine the toughest, most self-proclaimed non-reading kid out there with piercings and green hair and scowling face, and write the story for him. LOL! What a great way to taunt our muses into creating something spectacular!
Have a wonderful weekend!
What about you? Have anything to add? Is there something you've learned about writing over the last few weeks that you really liked? Please share ....