Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ghosts are complicated

Wow. It's been two months since my last blog. Not good.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending an Illinois-SCBWI program featuring 2010 Golden Kite winner Julia Durango. After the main program, a few of us lingered and continued talking about writing.

I can't remember the exact topics others were writing about, but they all seemed more important than ghosts. One of my writing insecurities is that my stories are pretty much just stories. They don't teach the reader about another historical era, or another culture or touch upon tough subjects like prejudice, drugs and so on.

When I expressed this, Julia disagreed. Three words of her response gave my subject matter credibility.

"Ghosts are complicated."

It took a while for that to sink in. I feel good about my ghosts, but realize they now need size 14 shoes to grow into.

What statements have you heard from other writers that really made an impact?


PJ Hoover said...

I love the image of your ghost needing to grow into its shoe size. This is a great visual!

Jim Danielson said...

Thanks PJ!

Suzanne Casamento said...

Yay! You're back! I've missed your posts.

First, my stories are just stories and don't teach kids about any historic time either and they're not fantasy or sci fi and they don't take place in a dystopian future. And they have credibility.

So if my stories are just stories, your stories with ghosts have serious credibility! Far more alluring than just kids.

Ghosts ARE complicated. I love a good ghost story. Good for you for taking it on. Sounds very intriguing. I'd love to read if you need a reader!

To answer your question, I'll go back to SCBWI Writer's Day when Libba Bray said, "If it doesn't scare you at least a little bit to write your story, there are no stakes. If there are no stakes, it's not worth writing." I got that. Big time.

Jim Danielson said...

I like Libba Bray! Saw her last fall at Anderson's (Bookshop) YA conference (Chicago area).

I'll definately keep your offer to be a reader in mind. Thanks!