Wednesday, February 16, 2011
1. Lois Lowry - A lot of readers ask how she gets her ideas (and if she has a dog...which she does). Lois does something that I think is super cool and interesting: she writes plot couplets. For example, for Gossamer she wrote, "A haunting phrase - a little more - / Imagination - take wing - soar." From those ten words she crafted a book. How cool is that?
Personally, I think this just goes to show that we're all different and we all have our own processes, so don't worry about conforming or doing things a certain way. Write. Write on your terms. Write your way. Just make sure you keep writing.
2. Dan Lazar of Writers House - In short, Dan talked a lot about good and bad queries. He did say that the children's market is more competitive than ever but that there's also more room for new things too. Taboos seem to be virtually non-existent these days, and while magic and fantasy are obviously still selling it's even more important for you to have a new/fresh twist if it's something that's been done before. *cough*vampires*cough*
According to Dan, MG is 8-14 and YA is 14+. (Just fyi.)
5 things to keep in mind for submissions:
-Age: Know your age group, because it is an important factor in labeling your book.
-Voice: This was unquantifiable for him; you know it when you see it.
-Situation: Contemporary, magical,... This actually comes across like setting and your world, like any rules you might have.
-Tone: Literary, artful, commercial, contemporary...
-"Magic:" Unexplainable love for the project.
Next time I'll start with Alessandra Balzer's breakout session, at which she gave us a handout of the top 10 things she looks for in submissions. And I have a couple of reviews coming your way soon. Oh, and Valentine's Day. Hope it was a good one or is (where ever you may be).