I’m coming out of my RMC-SCBWI conference-induced fatigue,
and wanted to share some morsels
before the passion and meaning behind the words grow too dim.
Bruce Coville gave our keynote speech on Saturday morning.
My favorite line: "The blank page is hard, not because nothing’s
there, but because everything is there. The whole world."
He ended his talk (titled The Art of the Heart: Writing True for the Child)
with this: "Let us not take joy, let us give it. Let us give it courageously."
Just a short while later, I had my one-on-one critique with him.
He read the first 10 pages of BIRD BRAIN.
Good news: he thinks the voice is strong.
Not-as-good news: I need to rework the opening pages to set them in a scene
rather than exposition. I kind of knew that, but had a secret hope he’d love it as is!
(Major thanks again to for helping me out of a slump so I could get those
pages ready for submission!)
One of the few sessions I was able to attend (due to responsibilities), was Social Media 101.
Drew Shope, of Thrive Social Media, is a 25-year-old social media guru who convinced me to start tweeting.
I’m having fun thus far but fear the Undisciplined Time Suck.
I attended Elizabeth Law’s session on First Pages.
The overwhelming message of the day was Slow Down the Action.
(This is what was said regarding my first page from FRAMED, too.)
Of course, during another session, editor Kate Harrison and agent Elena Mechlin
both said they like a story that gets going immediately to pull them in.
My favorite Elizabeth Law line of the weekend came in response to a question.
Q: If an editor or agent suggests revisions, is it appropriate to ask for clarification?
A: No, work in the dark. Spend a lot of time. Hope you get it right.
(The answer is, Of course!)
I had a wonderful time and bonded with Bruce Coville.
When my critique time was up, I thanked him.
He said, "You betcha!" then said with considerable dismay, "I sound like Sarah Palin."
That’s all it took. We were off and running (next writer hadn’t yet shown up).
It was a wonderful, exhausting weekend.
But next year, I hope to scale back on conference-day duties so I can fully enjoy.