Thursday, April 26, 2012

Odds and Ends from Joyce

Week of April 22, 2012—Creating Characters Kids Love with Joyce Sweeney
April 26, 2012—Odds and Ends from Joyce

When I attend a conference and review my notes, I often have a smattering of information in little, one-line quotes. Often the richest information is found within those one liners. Today I’ll list the odds and ends, the one liners I have in my notes from Joyce Sweeney’s session about Creating Characters Kids Love.

·        Don’t research before you write a book—research as you write. Otherwise you’ll be tempted to put all kinds of “interesting” information in the book that you learned and feel you need to share.

·        The first person on stage in your book and the first person to speak must be your main character.

·        Stay with a narrow point of view.

·        The main character’s job is to tell us what is going on, to orient us.

·        Start writing with a theme question in mind, such as: Is it ever ok to cheat?

·        Don’t ask a dramatic question that you already know the answer to.

·        Every story we read should make us stronger.

·        Plot is really the circle, the cycle, the main character is going through.

·        The story is something that comes into the main character’s life and pulls him/her into a different situation.

·        First person—the “I” who tells the story—brings the reader as close as possible to the character.

·        A story is close third person is really the same as a story in first person, but with different pronouns.

·        In close third person the reader isn’t or doesn’t become the main character in the story, he/she is a bit more removed, and sometimes that is more comfortable for the reader.

·        To read: Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card

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