Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hook, Line and Binky

Back from the SCBWI writer's weekend!

I know the secrets of the publishing world!
I know how to make stories
that editors AND children
will gobble up
hook, line and binky.

Here is Part One of my conference gleanings.

How to make your story good bait...

From my agent Rubin Pfeffer of East West Literary Agency:

Agents and Editors are looking for
Great stories that are rich with
Strong characters,
Strong pacing,
Masterful language - not cheesy rhymes,
and Hook.

       What is "Hook?"

Hook is that snappy one-line
that will sell your story,
that clever Something that sets your book apart from the rest -

A robot escapes the Science Fair,
Dinosaurs deal with bedtime,
Pirates have to babysit,

From Bruce Hale,
author of Snoring Beauty and the Chet Gecko mystery series:

Art is War.

We have to fight within ourselves to produce art.
The biggest fight? Making time to write.
What sucks up your writing time?
Is it email? Social networking? TV? Phone?
What if you CUT THAT IN HALF ?
How much more writing would result?

Melissa Sweet, author/illustrator of award-winning Balloons Over Broadway, and other stunners,  wowed us with her art and her passion.

She embraces research as a necessary part of the process.
Melissa suggests doing quick mini-watercolors every day - to learn how to observe.
She once did a 365-day series graphing weather and light, moon and sun patterns.
from Charlotte in Giverny,
by Joan McPhail Knight, ill. by Melissa S

"Design isn't just about making things.
  It's making things happen." 
- Melissa Sweet

Carmine A Little More Red, by Melissa Sweet
 ill. by Melissa Sweet 

It's amazing to be surrounded 
by book-lovers, word-lovers
and art-lovers,
to connect with like minds and discover
that I am not the only writer afflicted 
with revisions...


And thank you, Rubin Pfeffer, for this one:

"A writer is not a writer. A writer is a rewriter." - Patricia MacLachlan
Whew. Glad it's not just me.
I'll give you the second scoop of conference wisdom soon!

In the meantime, I leave you with books from local writer friends I can't wait to read:

Devine Intervention, by Martha Brockenbrough
Pickle, by Kim Baker
Dragonswood, by Janet Lee Carey


Marion Ruybalid said...

Thanks for the scoop on the writers conference...I have been intrigued.

Dawn Simon said...

Ooh, SUCH a great summary! Love the sketch of your agent! I recognized him right away! And such cute kid pics! :)

Faith Pray said...

Marion, I bet you'd enjoy it, being a writer and a momma!

Faith Pray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faith Pray said...

Dawn! I can't see your comment here, but I read it in my email. Thank you! It was such a delight to hang out with you at the conference!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a little taste of the conference as I missed it this year. Emotion ... I struggle with putting more emotion in my writing. Maybe that comes with more (and more) rewrites?!


Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

That was a great conference, wasn't it? I'm so glad we ran into each other at the last second!! :) And it's so nice to see your blog. You are a wonderful artist!!


MollyMom103 said...

I want to read those books too. Kim, Martha (ok, I've read Janet's book already) but I know them and I've hoped for them for so long and it brings tears to my eyes that they are finding good success.

I love this post. Thanks for sharing newsy bits about the conference. I love your pic of the notes the best. They look like my notes. It's a wonderful feeling to have that harmonious connection with you. I feel a little lost without those WWA SCBWI conferences. They have good ones here but I don't know very many folk. I feel like an outsider here. I don't know people. I haven't read their books. They don't know what I've done either. I don't feel the energy of my whole community rooting for me and me cheering right back. It's a strange thing, I'm from here and this place is in the marrow of the bones but a piece of my creative soul burns brighter up in the Northwest. I've hungered and still hunger to see wonderful success spring up there. I'm glad we have the blogs to chat sometimes. Hugs.

M. Bloom said...

Wow! Thanks! Great post... Now, back to work, work, work, ink and paint... doodle, doodle, doodle!

Kjersten said...

Finally starting to feel unburied of boxes from my move, I check in on my favorite blogs and I find this beautiful round-up from the conference! Thank you so much, Faith! It was so, so, lovely to see you there and meet you in person. I look forward to the day our paths cross again.


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