Think I'll start with a few random bits...
This is a picture of the infamous Hall of Christ (THOC) where I was unfairly locked in !
This is the battery operated fan I brought with me to Chautauqua that saved my life during the 16 hours of no electricity and the hottest temperatures the area had in years! Although it was small, it packed a mighty
Okay, back to writer business.
Kathi Appelt, author of The Underneath and Keeper, was right in line with Patti Lee Gauch's theme of digging deep for emotional connection. In her workshop, Singin' the Blues, she discussed the wealth of emotion expressed in the lyrics of many blues songs. These songwriters often took the seeds planted in their own life stories and turned them into song. They used the writing to help fill holes in their hearts. An example was an old video clip of Janis Joplin singing "Cry Baby". As you can imagine, it was raw, intense, gut-wrenching, heart-felt, and real. Kathi suggested using the same intense longing, yearning, crying out of the soul-like the blues- in your stories and characters. Listen to the music, get the mindset, then write.
Kathi said it's easy to write about the things you love. But her advice, given to her by author M.T. Anderson, was "write what you fear or what you think you can't."
Kim Griswell spoke on the topic of plot. She sited as a reference The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler. It's based on Joseph Campbell's work on a hero's journey. Kim went through the 12 stages. She also handed out an extensive list of picture books and novels that exemplify a hero's journey. Here's a sampling:
- Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
- The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- Wringer by Jerry Spinelli
- Coraline by Neil Gaiman
- The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien
- The Tale of Despereaux by Kate diCamillo
- Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
I think I'll wait until the next post for Julie Agnone, along with Eileen Spinelli's talk on dealing with rejection. Stay tuned!