Now, I know not all of you write/read kid lit and may not have attended the free online writer's conference of awesome which is WriteOnCon, but there was so much great info, it doesn't matter what you write... there was something for everyone.
I highly suggest perusing the archives for all the helpful info. If you're a fiction writer, then you'll get something out of it for sure.
I want to leave you with a few of my fave quotes from various authors, agents, and editors:
"Characters who are active about trying to better their situation, even if they're scared, rather than allowing things to happen to them, are my favorite kinds of characters." Suzie Townsend
"1)Why are you telling me this? (relevance)
2)Why are you telling me this now? (placement)
It’s helpful to ask these questions on a chapter/paragraph/line-by-line basis as you revise. It keeps a narrative tight, and helps to build tension and drama (on the page that is)....
"I don't know if it's a lesser known tip, but over-using "blinking" and "stomach turning" and such gets old. And makes me worry about a character's eyes...and gastro system when he/she does that a lot." Annette Pollert
"I really don't like it when first person is so self-conscious. i.e. i tipped my head to the side and my jaw slackened regret..." Emily Meehan
"Not every cheerleader needs to be a bitch. But also, you don't have to spend a whole novel showing us how UNlike stereotypes your characters are." Jim McCarthy
On cliches. "If you can spoonfeed me a cliche and then turn it on its head and subvert all my expectations without me feeling cheated, you're gold." Michelle Andelman
"But a lot of manuscripts want me to (love the characters), based only on the fact that the leading man (or woman) is hot. And that, friends, is one of my biggest pet peeves …. Know what your protagonist’s internal and external conflicts are outside of any romantic possibilities, and then use the romance to enrich and complicate those conflicts…… While having an arc for the relationship is good, try to subvert what’s expected or surprise your reader in some way." Martha Mihalik
"Reliance on dialogue tags is a common prose issue I find. Reliance on them to reveal emotion where characterization should be doing the trick." Michelle Andelman
"If you don’t frequently include something out-of-the-ordinary – a scene change, a new character introduction, a plot-twist, a revelation – a terrible thing will happen: your reader will close the book.
"But the thing that will make your reader say “one more chapter” at 2 a.m. is pacing. It is your novel’s balance of description and dialogue, of back story and back-breaking action……I often went ten or more pages without a scene change, revelation, or turn of events. This error made my manuscript drag…..
"The recipe is as follows: 1) at chapter one’s ending, something big happens; 2) at chapter two’s beginning, characters react; 3) at chapter two’s middle, narrative, back-story, and dialogue combine; and 4) at chapter’s two ending, something different but equally big happens.” Tara Hudson
And those, my friends, are my fave quotes from the conference.
There's still time to sign up for the Star Trek blogfest over at Ellie Garret's blog. It all happens on stardate 8-22-2011 12:01am. See you here ... and there ...
How about you? Did you attend WriteOnCon? If so, what was your fave part? If not, have you read any good books lately? Please share ...