Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm pretty sure this is it

I don't want to go on forever with all my JRW conference notes, so I'm going to condense and pick out some of the bet bits.
  • From Clay McLeod Chapman: If you lure people in with humor, you can do anything.
  • Scott Nelson said he writes his inner critic's POV, telling him the worst he can think of. Then he locks that in his hard drive and moves on.
  • Find a way for the characters to tell the story. Get different characters if you have to. Don't use tricky plot devices like letters found in an attic. Don't cheat.
  • From David Robbins: Concoct villains that make sense to people. Create motives for them to behave the way they do.
  • From Michael Knight: Most readers are sympathetic toward flawed characters.
  • Katherine Neville's suspense technique allows the reader to know information just before the character finds out. But she doesn't wait too long for the character to discover it, because otherwise they seem stupid.
  • Wish list from the editors' panel (Richard Ernsberger, Jennifer Pooley, Paula Squires
    Moderator: Virginia Pye): Original stories, ones that look at the world in a different way, through different eyes. An emotional experience and connection to the character.
  • Pet peeves from the editors: spelling mistakes, wrong name on a query, sloppiness, tardiness, sending work back too soon after proposed edits
  • Endings should "bookend" a story, reflecting the beginning, and showing the whole theme of the book.
  • Sub-plots can be tied up before the very end, but save the central problem for last. Then wrap up so the ending doesn't feel tacked on.
  • When you re-read your work, if you don't feel some emotion, it isn't right.
  • Authors research lots of topics that don't make it into their books.
  • A writer who gets excited about edits will be successful.
  • Action in a story should mirror what's happening internally for characters.
Unless Sarah, Joan, or Alison has more to add, that should do it for our JRW posts. Watch for Alison's interview with debut YA author Megan Crewe in the next few days.

1 comment:

Amy Tate said...

Thank you for sharing that. I like the comment about how the action should mirror a characther's internal thoughts. Good stuff!