Monday, April 4, 2011

SCBWI, Day 2

I awoke early, I had so much to learn and couldn't wait to learn it all! So I ran down to be in the front row. I thought more people would want it, but I was wrong. That's OK, I'm short, and it's best for me to be up front. It also helps me focus.

I met Connie Heckart that morning, she is soo sweet, and was asked to help out, which I love to do!

Then I met Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann. Candace is an award winning author, and Eric and award winning illustrator. I later learned they are married, which makes sense. They present so cute with each other!

We learned about the Framework of a Picture Book.

First, you open the book and it reveals itself.... oooohh, I love that imagery of grasping the front cover as you anticipate what is inside this present, what will happen once you slowly open the cover, what will you see.....

Well, you usually se a blank page. But, that page has a color which should tie in the color scheme of the book, creating an openness to delve deeper into your adventure....

A picture book is 32 pages of hopeful bliss!

But the real story doesn't begin until page 5... And this is where the author must begin their job of setting the story. And so on page 5, the story begins...
Page 6 -9 are used for set-up
And no later then page 10, we need ACTION! This is the Day that is Different.

10 - 31 tell the story until page 32, where we have our
AHA, the problem is solved, the story is over... but yet, we must be left wanting more....
No pressure.

After Candy and Eric, we heard what editors want. By attending, we get a free pass to send to them and get out of the slush, or into the door for those who don't allow anything if you don't have an agent. That is why you should ATTEND. :-D Read all you want from those who do, but you really are not a player until you are creating your own journey of knowlege.

I'm into the word Journey this week.

But here are some tips:

  • Read the guidelines. You are not special. Editors will throw your stuff away if they are in a bad mood if you do not respect them. They put guidelines out for a reason. We may not understand it, but that is what they want.
  • Show you're committed.
  • Know the publishing house. DO YOUR RESEARCH
  • Be professional. Don't say how much you love a book they are publishing that isn't being released for 2 months.....
  • Spelling/Grammar
  • Be Unique, but not obnoxious. You are you, you are not JK Rowlings, Dr. Seuss or Stephen King. You are you, you, you. And that's not a bad thing.
  • Have a killer manuscript, as in strength in plot, voice, theme and style.
  • Know who you are writing for.
  • Have the whole package, not a killer first page, and then crap.
  • And read.

This was awesome to hear about the changes Little Golden Books made in the history of reading. They made books accessible to families by offering low-cost books found in everyday places.

SERIES, with Lin Oliver

I will write more on this, but she talked about how to write a killer series.

I want to talk about Lin, who is also the founder of SCBWI. She is amazing! She is warm, sweet, sincere, caring, and took time to help me.

As she talked about her concept, characters, the consistant world needed, multiple points of entry into the story, she mentioned ARC. Two arcs really, the story arc (I got that) and the series arc.

My stomach dropped. I didn't have a real ARC in my series! She finished up with the importance of dedication to your craft and said, "I'd love to talk more with all of you, come find me."

She walked from the front of the room, and I jumped up and followed. She spent a good 20 - 30 minutes with me helping me find my story arc and fix my character lack of flaws. I love her.

She probably doesn't even know how many authors she has touched and helped to shape their careers. Even though I still have work to do, I am every thankful for that one on one time and dedication she gave to me, an unknown author, to help me succeed in this world.

The day ended with a bookfair, where I went crazy, hey, who wouldn't want autographed books from award-winning authors, and new authors you just made friends with?

And a great speech from both Lin and Dr. Gary Schmidt, who moved me and brought tears to my eyes when you know that you can touch someone through your stories, and a reminder to observe everything around us.

I hope you learned something to!
PS: I have not edited yet, I probably should go shower. :-) TMI?

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