Not too long ago I attended SCBWI Florida's Mid Year Workshop with my local crit buds Larissa and Jess. While there, I soaked in the brilliance of Michele Burke, editor at Knopf, and authors Kathleen Duey and Marjetta Geerling.
My critique session was with Kristin Daly Rens, editor for Balzer and Bray, who edited a fantastic book called Rampant. Kristen was amazing and had some great ideas of how to make my latest WIP even better.
(okay so that's an awful picture of me and I promise I wasn't sleeping through the conference but Kathleen, Larissa, and Jess look gorgeous so that's all that matters)
Here are some gems that I picked up along the way form these amazing ladies:
- There is a difference between writing for children and writing about children
- Show! Show! Show! (don't tell)
- Marjetta Geerling's POV Test- if you can replace any I with she/he and it doesn't change the story, you are actually writing in 3rd person.
- Experience the moments! Don't just tell about them. Smells, sounds, visuals (Duey)
- In YA, voice is everything so get inside your character's head. Kathleen suggested to interview our characters.
- Write everything through your character's lens. (Geerling)
- The impact of revision. Always keep in mind the heart of the story and what propels the characters. (Duey)
- Don't fall into the trap of being vague and mysterious (especially fantasy) because you will loose your reader to confusion. (Burke)
As you can see, I could share notes all day. These ladies were fantastic and if you ever have a chance to hear them speak--GO!