Tag Archives: www.wifyr.com

Writing a Book Together: Christian McKay Heidicker–Writer Inspiration

Here’s the first writer to respond about that moment when they have a novel idea and how it comes to them.   I quite loved what Christian said:

“Every year I put on a Halloween reading and encourage my writer friends to write truly chilling tales.

“A couple of years ago, I wrote a story that was so disturbing one of the other writers said she couldn’t be part of the show unless I changed it. It was two nights before the performance so I went home, reached deep into my childhood fears, and found The Berenstain Bears.

“I LOVED those books when I was little (Spooky Old Tree and Bears in the Night, specifically) and so decided to write an anthropomorphized fox version.

“I performed the tales two nights later, and my friends said it was the best thing I’d ever written.

“So I said, ‘Hmm.’ And then, ‘Huh.’ And then ‘Wait a minute . . .’ And then I wrote Scary Stories for Young Foxes.

“Of course, I ended up wringing out nearly all of the anthropomorphism in a later draft, but yeah, that’s how it happened. Under severe pressure and because my mom was kind enough to read me everything under the sun when I was little.”

It was that “Wait a minute” moment where Christian saw he had something. There was the thinking. The playing. The writing. And then the aha moment.

cover+final+-+scary+stories+for+young+foxes

Christian is teaching a morning workshop class at Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers.

Go here for more information: https://www.wifyr.com/morning-workshops/ (His class is filling quickly, so if you’ve been to WIFYR before, you might want to be with the fella who sold six books, one right after the other.)

Go here to learn more about Christian. http://www.cmheidicker.com

And here’s his blog: http://www.cmheidicker.com/blog/

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Rocking a New Year

2019, the year to publish!

It was a crazy hard year and I see that expressed because I haven’t posted since August. The blog is sort of limping along. Actually, it’s dead. But I hope to pump new life into it.

I love a New Year but this one has dawned darker than I expected and with left-over 2018 heartbreak. Still, it’s here and I must embrace it. So let’s think UPCOMING EVENTS and QUESTIONS to start off the Year and head toward publication.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself AND then ask your characters:

What do you hope happens this year?

How will you make those hopes happen?

What matters most to you?

How will you keep that most important thing safe?

Care to share your goals?

Remember, Rick Walton said, “Make goals you can control.”

I think of Rick a lot and even talk to him. I’m sure he’s still making achievable goals on The Other Side and I know he’s loving others without question.

MY BIG GOAL: I’m going to walk through the creation of a new novel, here, with you all.

EVENTS

  1. WIFYR / SCBWI January Kickoff–Jan 11, 2019. Bullock Room, Provo Library. 6:30-8:30. Potluck! And new or gently Used books for The Ella Hughes Foundation. https://goo.gl/forms/NgPm8PuwnAZrfk1P2
  2. March 6 and 7 or 8 or 9 AGENT/EDITOR Retreat. Emily Feinberg from Roaring Brook  and Karyn Fischer from Book Stop Literary are visiting UT and you can sign up to have you manuscript reviewed with one of them. https://goo.gl/forms/0TJhBpSbu6MgWlpz2
  3. June 10-14, 2019  It’s the 20th year for Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers! Registration opened today and I know at least one class has only one spot left. (www.wifyr.com) So come on down! We still have room for you and fabulous, amazing faculty.

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Filed under Agents, Editors, Life

What YOU Can Create

So these last two days I’ve been shuffling pages this way and that, adding sections and rewriting my murder mystery WOLF. That means I missed yesterday and Monday’s prompts.

As the conference roars closer, I have to finalize things there.

Here are all five prompts, the last of them, before WIFYR 2017!

#50

What are the significant events in you book? Write them down, in order. Do they rise in tension, causing more at stake for your main character? Is the tension tightened with these events?

#51

Write the most important scene from the point of view of a person watching it unfold, not experiencing it. Pay particular attention to sense of place details. How does this inform your novel?

#52

Choose your five favorite novels. Break away from series and the same genre.

Using each book as an example, rewrite one page of your story, from the opening, imitating each book.

So page one will be like Harry Potter, page two will be like The Road, page three will be like THIS IS WHAT I DID etc.

What do you learn? Can you take any of this and put it in your writing?

#53

Take 15 minutes to put yourself in a scene with your main character. Make it a tough scene. Write what you talk about.

#54

If you have done all these prompts, which one has helped you the most? Why? How can you use this in more of your writing?

 

Okay, Everyone (all three of you!). I’m off.

Will see you in July!

Happy WIFYR. Happy writing. Happy life.

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So Last Night

Ann Dee and I went to dinner with a bunch of amazing women and while we were there I said, “I think our book is almost done.”

And Ann Dee said, “No it isn’t.”

And I said, “You don’t think so?”

And she said, “No, I don’t.”

And I said, “Yes it is.”

And she shook her head and the people who were listening to us looked at us like, “Are they gonna fight?”
We weren’t. ‘Cause Ann Dee would win.

 

This conversation shows you how you can work on the same project, for the same amount of time, reading the same words, and see something differently.

“It’s about family,” I said.

“It’s a mystery,” Ann Dee said.

“There’s a sorta mystery in it.”

“You keep saying it’s about fathers.”

“It is.”

(Sigh)

 

In a little bit, I’ll write the next section of our book about families. Before the book comes out, Ann Dee and I will come up with a less-than-25-word explanation of the novel. It may or may not include fathers and a mystery.

 

As you work with your partner–don’t worry.

Write with faith.

Push yourself.

Do things you would never do on your own.

Love it.

Hate it.

Just do it.

 

If anyone has written with someone this week, please feel free to talk about it here.

We wanna know if YOU know what you’re writing.

😀

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Points of View and Encouragement – by Debbie Nance

“The reader, you see, has come to you as a storyteller seeking entertainment—and as I have pointed out in other posts, entertainment only occurs as you put the reader under stress in a safe manner and then negate the stress. So you create a protagonist, a character that acts as a surrogate for the reader, and you make that character likeable, someone that we admire, care about, and perhaps even envy a little. As we read a story, our subconscious mind is swept into the tale, and incidents that occur vividly in the tale affect our readers’ emotions. In effect, the reader “becomes” the protagonist on a subconscious level…” David Farland.

I like that quote and I think it is true. Readers relate to and can “become” the characters in the books they read. So what do you think is the best point of view for your writing? Do you change from book to book? Do you prefer reading books in one POV over another?

Rick Walton once told me that sometimes it is good to have a step of separation between the reader and the MC. I understood his point when the story you’re writing or reading is too close, too personal, for the reader to be comfortable. For instance, when something happens that the reader doesn’t want to feel as his/her own pain or embarrassment or fear.

First person POV is currently very popular in YA, but I read an article that says it rises and falls in popularity. 3rd person POV remains constant in popularity. Why do you think that is true?

Years ago when I began writing, I took a course that explained the difference between POVs and then said that 3rd person was the easiest and most natural way to write because it was like telling a story. However, when someone writes 3rd person POV really well the reader can forget that it isn’t written in 1st person.

Take a look at some of your favorite books. Are they in 1st or 3rd person POV? Are you surprised?

If you’ve hit a sticky spot in your ms, try writing that scene in a different point of view and see what you learn about your character.

Does it make a difference to take a step back and see what your MC is doing from an outside view or to take a step closer and see what the scene is like only from your MC point of view?

Which POV do you like better for your scene?

There is room for all kinds of books written in various POVs. Indeed, agent Stephen Fraser said (at a WIFYR conference) that there is a place for every book. I think he should know, and that encourages me.

I hope you’re coming to WIFYR this year. We all need encouragement and I hope to see you there!

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Filed under Character, Point of View, Revision, writing process

Three Things Thursday

So now we are thinking of:

1. maybe meeting every other week and writing memoirs together.

BUT

guess what?

YOU wouldn’t have to write on a memoir.

YOU could write on your novel.

All this has to happen AFTER the conference (www.wifyr.com). By then I HAVE to be settled or I can’t do it. But let’s pretend I find a place soon, move in, prepare for the conference and etc.

 

2. I am getting ready (at 10 am–in just a few minutes) to try something I am not sure will work.

But if you would all think good thoughts, pray, chant, whatever you do for others.

I need this concentrated effort because I am getting ready to do something I have never done before.

It has to do with praying, and praying that I can get a home, and it’s sort of selfish.

I can’t explain more–but it has to do with my dream home.

 

3. JULY WARNING

I know July is a month of parties, hot weather, resting from Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers, traveling and etc. But I think we will be ready for our next marathon when that month rolls around.

Not sure yet if we will take the month, a week, a few days or what. But I am letting you know now.

So mark July.

Cross out the 4 and 24 (if you are in Utah).

Start thinking of your goals. How will you work around family travels? What do you most want to accomplish?

We’ll be writing together. And, I think, reading together.

🙂

 

And to end, here’s an interview all about me by a fellow VCFA graduate, Ginger Johnson, who is very cute, a great writer and a terrific dancer.

http://quirkandquill.com/

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