Tuesday, August 17, 2010

SCBWI 2010 Summer Conference: Notes and Quotes – Writer Gennifer Choldenko

Kids need voices to reflect their circumstances. One 11 year old is not like another. Some kids are more outwardly sophisticated – inside they’re no different. If they’re growing up faster, why is it that no one ever actually gets there?

If kids’ attention spans are shorter, why are shorter books not being written? That’s not happening.

Gennifer Choldenko
They said YA books were dead, but now publishers just want YA books. It doesn’t make sense.

We need stories, we always have, and we always will.

Each scene you write needs to be gratifying in itself. Look for doorways in your story, and walk through. Sometimes I have to write till I find it.

Re-read your manuscript to see what you’re avoiding. You have to get to the emotional core of your story. Harness the energy in your dreams. You have to find time for your subconscious. Cultivate the ‘between’ state. Keep a notebook, and write ideas that come after extremes of work and thought.

Keep your distance from toxic people.

After a few years of trying [to be published] I didn’t care what would or wouldn’t sell. I decided to write what I liked to read.

The book industry is hard to break into. It’s not easier now, but there are more ways to get your foot in the door.

Take care of your writer-self.

Write almost every day, so your muse will be able to find you. – Tracy Max

You have to feel your way through a story, not think your way.

Deliver what you promise, but not the way the audience expected.

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