Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For Writers - Banned Books Week and Judy Blume

In honor of Banned Books Week, I'm digging back into my SCBWI Conference notes with some nuggets of wisdom from Judy Blume - one of the most challenged authors, and a gamechanger in the children's book world. She was a surprise guest at the conference and a delightful one at that.
There were plenty of takeaways from her visit, but something that resounded with me was the message for writers to stick with it and never give up.

Judy Blume said:

We all started writing not knowing what we were doing, and I am no exception. It may not get easier (there is always the anxiety about writing well), but eventually we can say “I know how to do this!”

Let yourself go when you write! The inspiration will be inside you. When it hits you inside and it's right, then you have to write it. Don't worry who your audience will be, just write.

(Note: None of the above is a direct quote since I don't have a transcript of the interview, but I was taking notes as fast as I could!)

October workshops:

October 3-31 From Homeroom to First Bell - The Hero's Journey in YA - Online
Author Jen McAndrews and Moi explore the Hero's Journey in YA fiction, including
breakdown analysis of popular teen books and movies. Registration here - deadline Oct. 3.

October 17 Writing a Young Adult Series - The Thurber House, Columbus OH
How to develop series fiction for teens and tweens, from the first idea to the last climax.

October 28-30 From Homeroom to First Bell - The Hero's Journey in YA, ECWC, Seattle, WA
Jen and I, same class description as above. We'll talk really fast!

This week's links:

10 Tips Writers Can Learn from Bad Movies (W.I.P. It) Love it.

10 Ways to Increase Story Tension (Cheryl's Musings) Yes.

9 Things That Happen When You Read (Psychology Today) How 'bout when we write? : )

5 Elements of a Riveting First Line (Wordplay) Excellent!

The Psychology of Attraction: Fear (Livia Blackburn) Cool!

Storytelling is Healing (Face The Page) Nice.

Writers Are Like Onions (Victoria Schwab) Re: want & fear & books & bravery & madness

What Elements Make a Good Book? (Wordplay) Excellent quotes.

Finding the Heart of Your Story (Adventures in Children's Publishing) Tip from Donald Maass

Why Writers Write and Readers Read (Writer Unboxed) Common Cause

What Makes Novels Page Turners? (Kill Zone) Keep readers wondering.

Introducing... Backstory (Beyond the Margins) Make your readers crave it.

Thinking about KidLitCon? (Jen Robinson) <<Adventures in Children's Publishing) Love it.

Character Development (Pubrants) Get to know your MC before writing the opening scene.

Does your MC Get the Best Lines? (Character Therapist) If not, think again...

Is your YA Setting Hitting the Wrong Nerve? (YA Confidential) Good

Avoiding Stop-the-Action Description (Artzicarol Ramblings) Keep readers from skimming.

Write. Revise. Rest. Repeat (Bluestocking Blog) With bonus links on each step.

Emotions: Show, Don't Tell (Chatterbox Chitchat) Readers want to FEEL something...

Tragic Monsters (Paranormal Point of View) Write villains who stay in your heart

Now go. Write!