Tuesday, October 1, 2013

SCBWI Farewell Thoughts

The book I bought and had signed by Dan!
Sunday morning came and went. I'm already waiting to go back to next year. And I have an awesome idea to be a speaker myself. Probably 2015. Just to play it safe. Anyway, more on that in the years to follow. Cynthea Liu led an hour and a half Breakout Session on Plotting Without the Plodding. Basically, edit your:

  1. Sentences
  2. Paragraphs
  3. Pages
By cutting unnecessary dialogue and details, you can smooth out your page-level pacing. Weave in the the details as part of the action. Don't make them separate. Read your work aloud to see if it has "read-aloud power."

To pass the "Idea Stress Test", your book idea must:
  1. be as kid-friendly as it can be
  2. as universally appealing as possible
  3. appeal to the target consumer (kids, parents, teachers, librarians)
For picture book art notes, try this. If the text says something that could warrant an example because it's not very specific, but may not be sure of the meaning, then you could give an example in the notes to show what you mean. That way, you're not telling the editor/illustrator that your bent on having it portrayed a certain way. For example, if the text says "She was quieter than an owl", then you could put (she is an excellent meditator e.g. does yoga poses for long periods of time even when noise is all around her).

Quiet books still have an arc.

Dan Yaccarino gave the closing keynote speech. He shared all about his life and his writing/illustrating journey. We will still get told NO lots of times, even after we get published. There will always be challenges. The takeaway message was to "meet challenges with YES, no matter how many times we hear NO." Very inspiring!

Now go WRITE! And keep on keepin' on...


  1. AND... this is Donna Earnhardt! I forgot to sign my name! :)

  2. HI! I sent you an email, not sure if you got. It was fantastic seeing you!

  3. Glad you had such a good time. Sounds like a great conference. Too bad you are getting spammed!

  4. Hi Christie,
    I was surfing the net, researching PB's and I found your terrific blog. Just signed up to follow. I noticed a lot of my other writing buddies, like Catherine Johnson, follow you too. All the best with your book.

  5. Hi, Tracy!
    Nice to meet you. Thanks for the follow, even though I haven't posted anything in 3 months! It sure is fun to have lots of writing buddies. Happy New Year!!!


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