Wow - so new job, new responsibilities, getting home at 6:30ish. This is gonna be tough balancing that plus the need to write. I'm trying to set aside some time after the kids go to bed, but at that point I'm pretty bushed too. But I can't let it stop me.
Gonna write some more "The Strength to Stand Up"
But enough about me. More on the conference.
Some pearls of wisdom from Lindsay Barrett George Barrett, again very relevant no matter what you're writing, and some things I'd never really thought of:
A book is more than it seems, and a good writer has Honesty, Emotional Connection and Depth to anything they write. Honesty in terms of the subject matter - it has to mean something to you. Even if it's just something you're really interested in. I couldn't write about a Victorian Romance because quite honestly that bores me to tears. But others can, and do it well.
Emotional Connection - the characters have to have something in common with the writer. You have to have an emotional connection to your hero AND your villain in order to keep that level of honesty. Do that, and your readers will feel that emotional connection. Jeff is basically me at age 11. Except a little smarter. Professor Ferguson, the bad guy, is the smarmy know-it-all that I used to hate growing up. Still do, as a matter of fact.
And depth? Well, it can't just be a story about x meets y and lives happily ever after. If you write a cardboard cut-out of a novel, where you're writing to make money, it'll come off as stale as it sounds. If you are writing for a purpose, a theme, a message you want to get out, it'll have more undertones that readers will pick up on. That's also what will make it stand out. My book's not just about time travel, it's about learning the lesson that you can't change the past and have anything good change in the present. That everything's connected, and things happen for a reason. Don't regret what's happened. That's a very important lesson for kids, but also an important lesson that I learned myself.
So keep those three elements in mind while you're writing. Am I being honest? Do I care about the hero? Is there more here than just the action and words? If so, you're on the right track.
More later on character changes. Another great insight from Ms. George!
I'm starting a new book today with that as the title. "The Strength To Stand Up. Memoirs of an Unemployed Man." People have...
Great time had at the SCBWI conference on Saturday! And a big hello to my friends from that conference who've hopefully joined us here....