Here again are some of my notes from the conference. “Notes” meaning= they may not make sense.
One of the highlights of the OCCBWW was the random quotes David Greenberg shared with participants each day.
“There are rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately nobody knows what they are.”
(I can’t read my scribble to attribute the quote. Bad chicken scratch writing.
Day 1 afternoon session Heather Vogel Frederick- middle grades-ages 8-12
How do we catch an agent or editor’s eye?
WRITE FROM THE HEART. YOU CAN’T FAKE SOUL.
Writing is an art, publishing is a business. [Publishers may like your work, but if they don’t see a market for it, they will pass. So getting rejection does not mean the work is bad, just not for them.]
“Touch the brain with a finger on fire. If you light up like a Christmas tree[as you write] so will the manuscript.
Three elements of story are setting, character, plot
Memorable characters are what readers [and editors[ are looking for.
Characters have an inside and outside. Use exterior details to give clues of internal qualities, bring characters to life
Look at the opening line(s) of some of your favorite works. Right away c a sense of character is revealed.[again: voice]
Have an emotional investment in the work- Glow embers to stir reader’s reaction- use shards of emotional experience – no tears from the writer- no tears from the reader.
In Plot- you take a bad situation and make it worse.
“What if?” is the secret of the writer’s toolbox
Do not wait 100 pages to get moving. The hero faces obstacles. Interior vs. exterior conflict. Make the character struggle- give them something to do.
Every time a character faces a door, it sticks.
You lose energy during flashback
Writing is an emotional bungee jump.
The happiness comes when we get it right
When the hero brings home the trophy it can be an emotional trophy.
The War of Art helps in overcoming resistance [ a book recommendation for writers]
Know the market before submitting
Trade market- stands alone, get royalties 10% unless there is an illustrator, then royalty is shared. Writer owns copyright on mss.
Open format, sometimes has curricular ties
In nonfiction needs to appeal to consumer-has to entertain beyond the facts. Is competing with fiction
Focus the book on an unanswered question.
School/library market-tend to be in series-paid flat fee, no royalty or copyright. Strict formats, curriculum ties
Sometimes it’s a good way to break into publishing market.
In my next blog, I will translate my notes from the presentation by Noa Wheeler, a book editor at Henry Holt.