RMC-SCBWI logoEven though I’ve been going to the Fall Conference presented by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) for years as both an attendee and one of the Co-Regional Advisors (which I am right now), I always seem to take something away from them that I can use. This past weekend’s conference was no exception.

A few highlights:

  1. If your main character is alone for a good chunk of the book or at the beginning, try to get him/her interacting with someone–even if it’s a conversation in his/her mind or a flashback–fairly early on if possible. Having the reader’s live inside a main character’s head for a long time can be a challenge to pull off, even for the most skilled writer (though obviously writers have done it, and many successfully). (Novels)
  2. Make sure you identify the main point of a scene and develop it; watch that you aren’t just giving character background with no other purpose.(Novels)
  3. Having multiple points of connection with the reader can provide greater access to your story (setting, romance, character). (Novels)
  4. Start with something immediate and familiar for young children: friendship, losing something or being lost, relationships. (Picture books)
  5. Honor your own writing journey and the Truth that only you can tell.

Letters & Lines logoI was so inspired, not only by the amazing speakers, but by the other attendees, whose excitement, enthusiasm and creativity buoyed me throughout the weekend.