Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Falling Leaves (or Down By the Bay)

Tip of the Day: Want to spend time on a crisp Adirondak mountain with a beautiful clear lake? Visit Silver Bay!

I am back from the Falling Leaves Eastern NY SCBWI Novel Revision Retreat and am overflowing with revision ideas and inspiration. Wow. What a fantastic weekend. Not only did I connect with some lovely writers (including a few from Verla Kay's Blueboard), but I enjoyed the sunny weather, peaceful lapping of the lake, and insightful workshops by five kidlit editors.

[We stayed in this cool inn]

I should be working on my revisions, so I'll just quickly post some of the take-aways I gleaned from this weekend:

--Not every book has the same kind of hook or purpose; decide if your book is driven by character, voice, plot, or setting (or a combo of two of these)...

--then ensure that your pitch and synopsis make it clear which part of your novel is the key or hook of your book. (Thanks to the wise Wendy Loggia, Julie Tibbott, and Mary Kate Castellani for approaching these elements in a different way, a way that spoke to me.)

--Aka, don't try to make your book something it's not; let the story and characters speak to you. (Thanks to Kendra Levin for reminding me to take the time to listen to my characters.)

--Also write the first page of the novel in a way that enhances what your book is driven by. (Thanks to Noa Wheeler for the opening session on beginnings.)

What was so cool was how each of these sessions related to the others despite their independent development. They also tied into the 20 page editor crit I received, and the AWESOME peer crit time. I seriously LOVE my chapter one now, thanks to the focus I was able to put on it this weekend.

And here's some more Silver Bay pics for good measure:

If you have a chance to attend a Falling Leaves retreat, I highly recommend it. My advice for attendees: Go in with an open mind, focus on one manuscript all weekend, listen and absorb without constantly taking notes, accept what is offered instead of getting hung up on what you *think* you want before you're there, connect with other writers and listen to their stories and advice. Oh, and remember to thank the organizer. Thank you, Nancy and company! :)

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

1 comment:

Kate Fall said...

Fabulous! I'm so jealous.