Saturday, August 20, 2011

Quotable Quotes From WriteOnCon

Just saw The Help last night with some of my book club girls and it was excellent. I was skeptical since the book has such a strong narrative, but they really pulled off the essence of the story in the film. The actresses all gave outstanding performances.

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 ...

28 comments:

Jess said...

Yes I attended WriteOnCon and got WONDERFUL feedback! I really liked how supportive everyone was (even when the writing I posted was kind of rough). Awesome quotes and I think I'll be referring to this post for the rest of today while I edit!

William Kendall said...

I really like Michelles' remark on cliches!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My focus isn't young adult, so didn't attend, but appreciate everyone posting tips from the conference.
And what can I say - I saw Conan last nigh!

Richard said...

You've given us a lot of good info.
Thanks.

Julie Musil said...

I was there for most of it and I'm still catching up. I saw those quotes you mentioned, and LOVED them all.

KarenG said...

I'm looking forward to seeing The Help. Haven't read the book, but want to see the film.

Leslie Rose said...

Super quotes. I can't wait to dive into the WOC transcripts. I'm DYING to see THE HELP. I listened to it on audiobook and it was fantastic. Talk about Voice!

Susan Kane said...

Those quotes are golden. Thanks.

DM said...

Thank you for these comments. So helpful. Seeing our writing through other eyes is so important.

The Golden Eagle said...

I liked the Help, so I'm interested in seeing how they did the movie. It seems like the kind of story they can tear apart really easily.

LOL at the comment by Annette Pollert. Thanks for posting these!

One really good book I read recently was Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill; I'm pretty sure it would make my list of top books read this year. :)

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing these great quotes!
Loved Writeoncon!!!

Jess said...

Thanks so much for posting these! I especially love Ms. Pollert's~ Why are you telling me this/why are you telling me this now? That really struck a chord in terms of being something I should be asking myself. Thanks again!

Old Kitty said...

Thank you for these lovely quotes!!! Very helpful!! Hooorah for WriteOnCon!

I really must get on and read The Help before the book but I know me - I'd end up watching the film first before the book! LOL!

Anyway - see you on Trek Universe! Take care
x

Anita said...

Going to The Help this week with some friends...excited now!

I went to a few things at WriteonCon...had my photo blow up huuuuge during Sara Megibow live chat. Funny!

Matthew MacNish said...

I didn't have as much time for it this year as I did last year, but I did do some critiquing and got some feedback on some of my writing, which was awesome.

I also got a request from an agent. Too bad I'm still revising.

Angie Cothran said...

This is great. Thanks for sharing your favorites. I need to bookmark this page :)

James Garcia Jr said...

Hi, P.K.
We saw The Help last week. My wife read the book and thought the film was good. I thought the film was fantastic. I would really love my 13 & 17 year old sons to see it.

-Jimmy

erica and christy said...

Dang it, I knew I need a book club (for the books - and the movies!!!).

It always makes me laugh a little when people say the bitchy cheerleader is cliche. In my high school, being a cheerleader was the lowest you could sink. Total slut status. (um, that was a few years ago, though...)
erica

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Loved the quotes, I enjoyed the post throughout,.

Yvonne.

Sarah said...

These are GREAT--and concretely useful--quotes! I love quotes about inspiration, but I love quotes that give me actionable advice even more. Thanks!

Carol Riggs said...

I didn't attend WriteOnCon in real time, but I went back on my own time and read some articles and an agent chat session (the ABLA one was very informative). Good quotes here too!

Alyssa said...

Thanks for sharing these great quotes! I just finished an amazing book called The Secret Life of Bees. :)

fOIS In The City said...

This was a great post, PK ... thanks. The truth is that it does not matter what genre you write or what age group you target ... the universal truths of writing are the same for all.

The information was well thought out and presented. I might go over and listen to some of this, as I am sure ... each time we take another workshop or listen to another speaker ... we are learning and for that reason alone this was a great idea .. not to mention it was free :)

Monica B.W. said...

Thanks so much for the quotes!! This year I hadn't so much time like last year to read everything, so this was awesome, thanks!! :D

Alleged Author said...

WriteOnCon was great. Love the quotes (and copying down the relevance one). Thanks for sharing your faves!

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Ah! You picked some of my favorite quotes from WriteOnCon! I especially appreciated the comments on pacing by Tara Hudson.

That's definitely something I'm working on more. This is such an awesome list and I agree with Angie- I want to bookmark it!

Eric said...

Great choices. All of those are great ways to make us think about what we're doing and how we're doing it. Though I caught everything after the fact (i.e. couldn't attend WriteOnCon events live), it was really fun and highly educational to peruse the content.

Marsha Sigman said...

Awesome quotes from WriteOnCon. Those were some of my favs too. I'm slightly obsessed with Suzie Townsend right now.lol