Monday, October 4, 2010

Things Recently Learned about my WIP

I was reminded recently while attending a Heartsaver First Aid course for work that writing material can come from just about anywhere. The instructor told a true story about an auto accident/rescue attempt that wound up costing the rescuer's life. It fits so much better than him just being killed in the crash itself. Had you told me I would change the story based on something from that class, I probably would have just laughed.

The second thing I learned based on reading I did for the Anderson's YA Conference is that a lot of YA is told in multiple voices. I'm doing that now too!

The third thing I learned (today) is how excited I am about this WIP. Ghost story + YA + in verse + kind of aimed at guys (involves sports) + multiple voices = Jim Excited.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Anderson's YA -- Part 4 : The final chapter

Writing friends Michelle Sussman and Karly Kirkpatrick shopping for books.

A picture of the author that graced our table. (At one point, an Anderson's employee pointed out to David Levithan that the author chair reserved at our table was empty--he looked ever so briefly and headed toward the back of the room. In all fairness, there were more tables than authors.)

John Green, David Levithan, Sioban Vivian and Dana Reinhardt after "Contemporary Edge" breakout session.

Kenneth Oppel holding a copy of his book HALF BROTHER.

And a slide of the half brother.

A few tidbits:

John Green says "maybe when I get old I'll have to do the Richard Peck trick and write historical fiction."

David Levithan says "Our job as writers is to choose the exact right words to express our feelings."

Siobhan Vivian picked up the phrase " wild pack of Freshman slut La Crosstitudes" talking to a high school upper classman.

Pam Munoz Ryan said "momentum developes creativity" (refering to writing)

Blue Balliett wrote the ending of Chasing Vermeer on a piece of cardboard she pulled from her garbage can in the middle of the night. It turned out to be packaging cardboard from her son's boxers. He made her swear she'd never tell anyone. Hmmm... I wonder if she kept that promise.

When Lisa asked about interesting fan letters, Kenneth Oppel said something to this effect:

He got a letter about his Silverwings series which avoids using colors because it is about bats (which can see only in black and white). The young girl said you mention "yellow" on page 12. You said "an" instead of "and" on page 50. I've noted similar problems in C. S. Lewis' Lion, Witch and Wardrobe series. I wrote him too. He never wrote back or made the corrections because he's dead. Hopefully you can correct yours. Kenneth suspects she will someday be a copy editor.

I hope you've enjoyed my four part account of the conference!