Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
We stayed up ‘til midnight writing, and got up early for critiques with the editors. We read manuscripts in front of each other. (I, for one, was petrified). We chatted about literary awards over breakfast and lunch, and shared the ins and outs of publishing over chocolate and wine.
She said that “(Narrative) voice is the narrator’s layer of engaging opinion about the story they are telling.” Authors should 1. know who is telling your story (even if told in 3rd person or omnicient), and 2. know what they are trying to say.
Editor Krista Marino talked about “Point of View,” describing the different POV options and giving example books for many, including: First-person present (Book: Skin Deep) and first-person past (King Dork), third-person limited (The Giver) and Omnicient POV (The Penderlakes). She said she believes the author doesn’t choose the point of view for a particular story, but that a particular book's point of view "chooses you.”
Sarah Shumway outlined the business-side of writing in her presentation on “Pitch and Purpose.” She reminded us that we authors should not try to specifically create a book just because we think it will sell (--just because books about purple spiders, for example, might be popular right now). But that authors should instead write books that they feel a special internal need to write. Still, authors should also be able to explain to an editor why they are the best person in the world to write their current story, and why readers are likely to be interested in this book. There needs to be a selling point, so that one by one the author can convince the editor, the editor can convince the marketing people and publisher, the marketing people can convince the bookstore owners, and the bookstore owners can convince the reading public, that out of all the books on the shelves this is the one that they want to buy and read.
All three presentations were excellent and the retreat as a whole was great! Thanks planners! I learned a lot – and I even got some revising and researching done! Now we look forward to the SCBWI Fall Conference in Durham, NC, September 19th-21st. Hmmm. Can we all get our current drafts complete by then?
Monday, April 14, 2008
And there was comaraderie, as members of at least 3 local children's writing critique groups came together, along with several new writers and poets who want to get more involved in the children's writing scene. We were even lucky enough to have several people under the age of 14 on hand!