Sunday, August 21, 2011

Get Rid of the Wrong Words

The highlight of my week was another guest speaker, Virginia Euwer Wollf. She is a lively speaker whose passion for writing radiates from her. Ms. Wollf is probably in her seventies, but moves like a much younger woman. [later I saw her vigorously walking on the beach]

The hardest part may come as a surprise: Getting rid of all the wrong words. [this reinforces why we need NOT to revise and edit our work too quickly. We need distance from the mss in order to give it a cold read, and read it the way an editor will.]

Cleverness is not a good trait for a kid’s book

If a story is in trouble the problem is in the point of view
When you get into trouble- look at how far you’ve come. Sometimes [a fix] can be as simple as one sentence.
When it stops working create a storyboard.

[She mentioned some of the obstacles we all impose on ourselves, ie texting, facebook and other distractions. There is a web site called Freedom that for a free, will lock you out of the internet so you can write.]

Ms. Wollf uses Rachmaninoff as an example on writer’s block. After receiving terrible reviews fro his first concerto he suffered three years of depression. He went to a hypnotist, and was able to create his wonderful second piano concerto.

[Most of her session was question an answer. Ms. Wollf was interested in what WE were working on. She enjoyed it when I talked about why writers need to attend workshops and conferences. I said, “Our friends and families don’t mind that we write, they just don’t want to hear about it. All of us in this room have imaginary friends who are real to us, and we get that about each other.”

Ms. Wollf mentioned Harold and The Purple Crayon as a great motivator.

Happy Writing.

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