- For one hour, list everything that could happen in your novel. Each event must create conflict.
- Write the main conflict of your story in three different ways.
- Is your main conflict worth the read? The months it takes to write the book? Why?
It’s just less than one year until Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers 2019.
Next year is our twentieth year and we are tentatively scheduled for the second full week of June. That’s right. June 10-June 14, 2019. And you can expect this will be a week of learning, celebration and fun stuff. Plus more learning.
As well, several of us have decided to write daily for the next year, so we have new work (or revised work) when the conference rolls around. The rules is this–you must write at least 6 days a week. One paragraph, one page, 100 pages. Just write.
If you want to join us, sign up on Facebook.
13 Questions/Thoughts/Exercises to Help the Conflict in your Novel
The girls and I haven’t written in a long time. And there has been no comments when we have written. The only two people who regularly responded here have passed away.
I can’t seem to quite give up on our little blog that no one reads.
There is so much good stuff in the back pages.
From this point on I’ll write as though this is a writing journal. If someone reads, cool. If not, well, no big deal.
So here goes.
After years of nurturing a little orange tree grown from a 6-inch twig, I HAVE orange blossoms. The lemon has yielded fruit and the lime tree has 6 or 7 limes. But the orange trees (I have three of them) have been so slow-growing.
And now this!
The blossoms are beautiful, with a stripe of pink on the fragile petals. And in Florida, back in the day, you could drive past huge groves, all in blossom, and the smell was out of this world.
I had a friend who couldn’t smell at all (I think it was because of abuse). One day when she was stoned, she rode on the back of a motorcycle down a dirt road in town. She was hit by . . . what? What was happening? Wave after wave of a taste in the air. As the two made a turn she saw the groves, acres of orange trees, all in bloom. She realized then she was experiencing her first (and last) smell ever.
I love that.
Those kinds of descriptions, those kinds of incidents, help readers know where they are, physically in your novel.
What smell do you remember? What something changed the way you look orange trees or pizzas or fresh almonds?
My newest novel, NEVER THAT FAR, is published and released TODAY by Shadow Mountain. a huge thank you to Jennifer De Chiara and Steve Fraser who represented me for this deal. And a big thank you to the amazing Lisa Mangum, my editor at Shadow Mountain.
A normal person could post a pic. I cannot. But, dagnabit, I will by end of today. So until then, imagine a pretty cover
Now! Here’s the contest! If you go to FB, you can add your goals under this post there.
I’m getting ready for a sing off! And I’m challenging Trent Reedy. And Claudia Mills, too! Yes! Where? At WIFYR this June!
We’re getting the ball rolling a little early with Getting Ready for WIFYR Writing Contest where you might win a book or two. My newest novel NEVER THAT FAR is one of the prizes. So is Trent Reedy’s book DIVIDED WE FALL.
Here’s how it works:
Say what your writing goal is for April AND May (I’ll reveal my goals tomorrow). And the most amazing Stephanie Moore will keep track of things for us.
You get to put your name in our virtual drawing if you sign up to play, if you complete your writing weekly goals, meet your goal, and every check-in on our Friday FB post. Invite all your friends! Got friends on Twitter? Instagram? Invite them, too!
The writing goals can be whatever you want them to be: 50 words a day, 5000 words a day or anything in between. They can be editing goals, if you like. Anything to help you get ready for our week-long writing conference this June.
The winner will be randomly drawn and notified on June 1, 2018.
Then we’ll pop the prize in the mail (US residents only), signed to you.
But that’s not all.
Trent and I will have a sing off at WIFYR. Or we’ll sing a duet. Or something.
And Claudia Mills? That will be a flannel shirt wear-off contest .
Oh my gosh, this just keeps on giving.
So join us for our Getting Ready for WIFYR Writing Contest.
(You DO NOT have to attend WIFYR to play. But if you want to register, go here: http://www.wifyr.com. There are a few spaces open, but many of the classes are almost closed.)
My friend, Trent Reedy, is going to write one million words this year. A MILLION.
(I have written 3,000 words since the start of January.)
We’ve talked about that million words.
“What if they’re bad?” I said.
“Of course, they’re bad.”
“What about rewriting?”
“Oh, I’ll rewrite.”
“But . . .”
“Look,” Trent said. “I was only writing 800 words a day before. Now I’m getting words on the page. If I don’t write, I have nothing to edit. No books to work on.” (In case Trent reads this post, I have taken our conversation over several days, squished it together, and written the best parts here. All swears have been omitted!)
Trent makes a great point. If you never pen the words, you never have a book to edit, to send to an agent, to sell to an editor, to wind up on a shelf. Just this week a student came to my office and told me she’s had a great idea for a series for several years. No words were written. And when I gave her my advice several times during our thirty minutes together–Just write–I could tell I sorta bugged her.
Do you write no matter what? I don’t. But . . . I’m lucky to have a friend like Trent who does just write. He encourages me daily, and has gently prodded me to write, maybe not realizing this is what he’s doing.
This year I had hoped to write four days a week, but I haven’t been able to for whatever reason. However, as I have watched my pal, I’ve taken courage. My new goal is one hour of writing–really writing–four days a week. If things normalize here, then I can increase that. If they don’t, I have four thousand new words a week. And that, as they say, is nothing to sneeze at.
But to do nothing? Well, the days still pass. The weeks do, too. And at the end, if I do no writing, I have nothing to edit.
Just as Trent says.