I had a great time at the SCBWI-WWA conference this past weekend. Once again, I met a number of incredibly kind and generous people. I feel lucky to be a part of this warm and intelligent community and I look forward to getting more involved in the coming years.
My conference highlights:
Master class: A Character Calls with Franny Billingsley
Take-aways: Character is tied to plot. A character’s root desire fuels her obsession a.k.a. the method she believes she must use to achieve her desire.
State of the State of Publishing: Justin Chanda
Take-aways: Don't worry; kidlit is thriving. The industry is cyclical and moving away from YA.
Keynote: This Speech Could Save Your Life by Kim Baker
Take-aways: Kim Baker is freaking awesome and I want to be her friend.
Actions Speak as Loud as Words: Claudia Gabel
Take-aways: Revise in waves. Outline your plot (perhaps in 3 acts).
Creating the Fictional Dream: Franny Billingsley
Take-aways: Sensory language is the way to enhance the inner and outer world of your character. Let her bounce her feelings off the tangible, sensory details of her environment.
Keynote: From Mind Worms to Lizard Brains by Franny Billingsley
Take-aways: Fear is located in the ancient parts of our brain. A character may be stuck with irrational fear and it is the plot’s job to shake her out of her comfort zone and move her from fear to love.