Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SCBWI LA 2014...In Quotations and Pictures!

* I attended the SCBWI summer conference again, and had yet another amazing time. Here are some of my favorite notes from the conference:

Stephen Chbosky & Jay Asher
* "Every scene needs to either ask or answer a question." --Jay Asher

* Stephen Chbosky talked about how studying Chinatown in film school influenced his use of subtle (not obvious and clunky) and well-placed "red herrings."

* Maggie Stiefvater creates unforgettable characters by "painting portraits" of them with language. She's
Maggie Stiefvater's art
constantly striving to "solve for 'x'," which means to figure out what the essential feature of the person is (yes, she takes the "x" from someone she's met in real life). She's always trying to find the most simple defining point, and then she builds a character's complexity up from there. 

* Meg Rosoff wanted us to be brave. To write about what is deep and true and to learn enough about yourself to write the story only you can write.

Meg Medina & Linda Sue Park
Diversity Panel
* Panel on diversity: If you're writing about a culture outside your own, you should have a passionate personal stake in what you're writing about, research needs to be intensive, and extensive, and it will probably take years. Don't just throw a "diverse" character you don't understand into a book because we need more diversity; it can be highly offensive. It's especially bad when a stereotype slips in and perpetuates a false truth. Personal note: I was really proud of SCBWI for including this panel, and I did hear mixed-reviews on it (I don't think that's a bad thing; it's a tough conversation, but one that needs to happen). Where is the line? When can writers write outside their own race/culture? I hope that the conversation continues at length until all our kids are well-represented in literature. Kudos SCBWI. Kudos. 

* Favorite comment on diversity panel: Linda Sue Park wishes business side would stop saying "they" don't buy books. Instead, realize it's an untapped market with $1 Trillion in buying power. There is a marketer smart enough to figure out how to do it, and when he/she comes around, they're going to make a killing.

 * Sara Sargent urged writers to figure out what their characters most desired, feared, loved, etc. and then use that knowledge to torture your characters. We may not love drama in our own lives, but we do love reading about it.
Judy Blume has a packed house
hanging on her every word
* "I was brave in my writing in a way I wasn't in my own life." --Judy Blume
On my way out, guess whose car this might be???

1 comment:

  1. I love Judy Blume's quote!! I'll just have to remember to be brave!