Sunday, November 30, 2008

SCBWI Pictures

My family at Santa Monica Pier
Paint the Town Red was the dress up theme

Lexi, Cindy and Me!

What a crowd!

Legend Arthur Levine

SCBWI LA- Jay Asher

Jay Asher- No Bookmarks Allowed, How to inject suspense into any novel
· You must make a page turner, don’t let your reader put your book down!
· He read to us the best suspense book: The Monster at the End of this Book (Hilarious!)
· Key to doing this:
1. Fill the book with Anticipation
2. Drop clues
3. Chase your character up a tree, throw rocks at them (problems) and help them find a way down
4. Chase your reader into the story
5. Don’t make it a 2 dimensional story, be a roller coaster

He tossed a ball around but then stopped and promised to throw that ball at them soon- that is anticipation

Brainstorming Anticipation:
· What does your MC want?
· List obstacles which might pop up because of that
· Can those obstacles be foreshadowed with an earlier storyline
· Like if there is a flat tire, foreshadow this
· Have three storylines like A B A C B C. The first A is when you begin storyline A’s problem but then you bring in Storyline B’s problem in before you resolve storyline A.

Then I had to go see Steven Malk for my manuscript consultation. But am looking for someone from the conference with the rest of the notes.

Check out his blog!

SCBWI LA- Rachel Cohn- Embracing Your Inner Teen

Rachel Cohn- Embracing Your Inner Teen
· Create an authentic voice
· She writes for teens
· A trust between teens and author- don’t break that trust
· Remember yourself as you were as a teen- called this your inner teen
· She brought out some props that she would put in her writing room to remind herself of when she was a teen
· Teens are obsessive with random things
· When she writes, she asks core questions such as who are the people in her story and what is their purpose. Then she asks it through her teen self
· Difference between what we know now and as a teen- remember that
· Are you writing what you want to remember are what you should remember?
· Respect your readers, don’t proselytize or immortalize
· Love your characters, but don’t smother them
· Everything in a teen’s life is epic, important, ever single moment is vital
· Remorseless contraction
· Think back on yourself
· Listening to music helps her find her teen self
· For teens, immediate gratification takes too long
· Think about how an adult would act and then do the exact opposite
· Provide a character that any kid could insert themselves into

SCBWI- Mark McVeigh: Synopsis

Mark McVeigh: Synopsis
LOVED this editor from Aladdin (S&S). He was real and just fabulous.
There are different types of synopsis:
1. Summary of the novel
Must include-
Who: name of MC and secondary character
What: conflict that drives the book
Why: Reason for the conflict
Where: Setting
Time: Time period
2. Query. He spent the most time on this.
· Answer fits into 100 words or less
· Give the editor names of other books or movies similar to your book as a tool to sell the book to the marketing division at the publisher. Don’t use Harry Potter or Twilight!
· Hit as many things about the character which is the most important
· Setting is also important
· Remember 80% commercial and 20% literary
· Kill all adverbs
· Write simple declarative sentences
· Write to the point
· Keep it impersonal
· Start to finish- tell the ending
· Be accurate
3. Brief statement (used at a cocktail party or random chance at meeting an editor or agent)
· 10 seconds or less- people will only listen for this lond
· Must have who- 1 or 2 people in your story
· 1 to 2 sentences
· Know your market, go to bookstores big chains and little stores, read NY times bestseller list
· Be professional! Editors like to know they are working with a professional

SCBWI LA- Bruce Coville

Okay, so the summer is long past but I've taken notes that I'd love to share with other writers. And what a conference! Not only were there so many talented editors and agents there, but I got to meet other incredible writers.

My manuscript critique with Steven Malk was more than I could have asked for. I was lucky to be his last appointment and he took some time to chat with me about writing. Yeah, I left on cloud nine with heaps of writing treasures.

So here is a collection of my amazing experiences at SBWCI LA. (Remember, these are my random notes.) Enjoy!

Bruce Coville-
Bruce was an amazing speaker and had so much to say. Very inspirational. I took frantic notes.
· Writing is asking others to look at me.
· Should I be a writer? Example: If you are having a bad day and get in a fight with your spouse and you think, ‘Can I use this?’ Then you are a writer.
· Disqualified if you want to get rich.
· Reach children’s hearts!
· Why are you here? Do you fully understand what you are doing?

Children are in a state of crisis (three stages):
1. 1800’s and earlier- the child is an economic contributor to the family. They have a role and feel a part of the world in this way.
2. After World War II- the child is an object of love
3. Today- the child is a consumer. Only takes, not gives, denied real work because they are ‘loved’

Kids need heroes! Because that’s how they create themselves.

Bruce’s 7 Deadly Sins for a writer:
1. Dullness- Your work should spark and sparkle
2. Repetition- Don’t repeat yourself and do what’s been done by others. Be a trend setter!
3. Sloth- Not working to your best.
4. Inattention- Not thinking it through, no characters are moving in isolation, all implications on characters actions
5. Perfectionism- This is the enemy of achievement
6. Clumsiness- lack of craft, Master you tolls, sentences can get away from you like misplaced modifiers
7. Cliché- Do it the hard way, don’t make it easy on yourself

A great book is only like itself. Exceed expectations that the editor or reader is expecting. Give them more.

Bruce’s 7 Heavenly Virtues:
1. Passion- if you don’t have it, the manuscript is dead
2. Sensuousness- must be immediate, loving the descriptions of the world, check your sensory words used (smell, taste, touch, see) so that the reader is brought into the story. Make the scene come alive!
3. Wisdom- Transmit our own life experiences into the life of the child.
4. Guile- Magicians trick- want to draw in and bamboozle them, deceit is good
5. Humor- has an aspect of the sacred about it, it refreshes and energizes, be more of ourselves and the kids will see that
6. Courage- kids need demonstration of courage. They are so protected.
7. Joy- Amusement is to children as rain to flowers. Everyday joys, Find joy in the process, being free as you write

· Humor, courage and joy are the essences to the writer
· Every moment in a writer’s life there comes a point where there is a cliff- JUMP!
· Dreams that are not followed are the tragedies of life.
· Take on your memories- Divide a sheet of paper into 6 parts- one for each grade. Write down all your memories from each grade. Most likely the bad memories will stand out the strongest because we as humans want to avoid the bad and learn from it so it won’t happen again. Use THIS!
· Laughter is the first comprehensible sound
· We are the storytellers, the dream makers

I'm Blogging!

It's time for me to join the blogging community. With the encouragement and nudge of my writing friends, I'm taking a step and I'm finding it incredibly addictive!

Winds of Winter

It's cold outside! I'm not a lover of the cold but there is something totally refreshing about it. Maybe it's the way the wind comes and takes my breath away or perhaps it's just the excuse to drink a cup of chocolate or mocha.
Regardless, it's time to get out the Christmas decorations and start brightening up my house to dispel the gloom of winter.

Favorite things about winter:
Twinkling lights
Starbuck's Christmas coffee
Sarah McLachlan's Wintersong
Falling snow
Freshly baked cookies
Cute hats
Snuggly blankets
Movie nights with my boys
Cuddles with hubby
A good book