Interactive Header

Robin Writes Header
Robin Writes Header
home bio contact projects interviews

Monday, July 11, 2011

WIFYR 2011

I'm finally home after a month away and wanted to share some of the gems from my novel class experience.  First-to answer my previous post, some of the classmates looked just as I had imaged and some were pleasant surprises.  The biggest surprise for me was that my favorite submissions were from the teenagers in our class.  We had 3 amazing girls-one who's on her 9th book and working hard to get an agent. One just turned 16 (the minimum age for the conference). My main surprise was Louise Plummer-I didn't know what to expect, but I don't think I would have ever expected her. She is  funny and so real. We did a lot of laughing in there along with all the learning.

Main things I learned:
1. I'm not as good as I thought
2. I had some uncontroled side characters that were hi-jacking my book. I took Kathleen Duey's advise and cut them out-gave them their own folder with a promise to write their book one day, then went back into my book and changed their names
3. Don't be afraid to go to my dark side (direct quote from Louise)  Even though I'm writing YA I worried I'd be corrupting young minds with the dark parts of my story. Embrace them-use them . . .
4. If I'm struggling with a scene do what one of the amazing teens taught me-write the scene from the bad guys perspective (or anyone elses really). I was amazed what happened when I got inside my bad guy's head. What I wrote scared me, and when  I wrote the scene from my protagonist it was so much stronger and spot on. Everyone was impressed with the rewrite(thank goodness). I read it holding the paper in front of my face so nobody could see me blush.
5. I need to just get a nitty gritty complete first draft done. Then I can come back and revise. Goal-write every day. Have a completed draft before school starts as the end of August.
6. If I want to write and be published I just need to keep trying, continue to improve my craft, and eventually I will succeed.