Words to the wise…and otherwise


In the process of looking for papers for one of my classes, I came across notes I had jotted down last summer. I had the privilege to attend an invitation-only fiction writing workshop in Park City, Utah last June. I had a wonderful time and learned a lot. Here are a few of the things I jotted down while listening to my teacher, Julianna Baggott:

* Be familiar with the websites for (1) AAR (Association of Author Representatives); (2) Publisher’s Lunch; (3) Shawguides.org (for information on writer’s conferences).

*Learn to blog. Blog daily. Develop a following.

* Learn the value of Facebook and Twitter. Develop a following.

* Use setting in stories to contrast the mood of the scene or create tension. Setting is the world of the story, and of the character. We are the products of many worlds.

* Conflict is people outside their comfort zones. It is realizing that the world changes around you, and around your characters.

* Ritual is a mark of culture.

* “Prissing” is the process of procrastination. For those who put writing off, it is helpful to learn to write in 10 minute jumps, or segments.

* Learn to write (in your head) even when you are not writing.

* Muse time is hugely important.

* To make your writing more powerful and your characters more interesting, associate disperatives images, also known as quilting. Undermine the instincts of your characters. Sometimes it is the burdens of your characters (and the writer) that make them stronger and faster. Put what the character wants and fears in any scene that is struggling.

* Quote from Julianna Baggott: “I will never ever use my fresh brain cells on your work.” (read: writing comes before editing)

* Make it a habit to collect: (1) characters and character composites; (2) interesting jobs; (3) floor plans of houses and buildings.

* Use Facebook to find specialists to act as consultants for your writing.

More later….

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