Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NESCBWI Conference Recap, Part II

It's kind of hard not to get good advice when you're at a conference for three days. Even at the crappiest of conferences, you should be able to take back one nugget of information. Since I'm an avid note-taker, I have pages of information. Unfortunately, I can't share everything with you.

But I can share a few thoughts.

After reviewing my notes* from the weekend, I found some of the most memorable bits of information could be broken down into three main groups.

Plot and Subplot
"When plotting, list all possible assets, obstacles, allies, and rivals as they relate to your protagonist--you never know what can be used." --J.L.Bell

"Subplots come from your primary characters' secondary wants or your secondary characters' primary wants." --Sarah Aronson

Critiquing, Rejection, and Distance
"Listen with 'elephant ears' when being critiqued. This helps you be more open-minded." --Lin Oliver

"It's important to remember, they're rejecting your book, not you." --Jane Yolen

"Once I've finished a book, it's no longer my book, but 'the product.'" --Marissa Doyle

General Inspiration & Thoughts
"The hardest thing to do is keep butt-in-chair." --Tomie DePaola

"Have fun doing the work." --Lin Oliver

Hopefully I didn't step on anyone's toes by sharing a sentence or two. If I did, please let me know.

What's the best piece of information you've received from a conference?

* And my brain.
Last.fm hit of the day: Judge the Blood by God Forbid


  1. Love conferences! No particular advice comes to mind right now, but I always feel so energized after a writing conference.

  2. Thanks for sharing. What I take away is that it's not personal, that a MS is a blueprint for a book, a commercial product that has to sell.

  3. I definitely agree that writing should be fun. If I'm not having fun, I need to reconsider what I'm working on. The best advice I ever heard at a conference is to allow your ending to mirror your 1st chapter--this is something I look for when I'm revising now. :)

  4. this is great-- I have no writing-conference nuggets to share.


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