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WRITE HABIT: #NYSCBWI15 Anthony Horowitz: Grabbing Young Readers

Saturday morning of the NY SCBWI 2015 conference opened with Anthony Horowitz as our first keynote.  Anthony Horowitz has written loads of books, specializing in mystery and suspense. He's well known for his Alex Rider series, the Diamond Brothers series, and The Power of Five Series. He's also commissioned to write the next James Bond book, so if you had any doubt regarding his ability to take you on an adventure, think again. As a presenter, he's entertaining with loads of energy.  In other words, right up my alley!


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Writing Tips He shared with my side notes to get you thinking...

1. Test your ideas. Talk about them, think with them, share them with people you know and see if its a topic others are interested in.

2. Write with Authority, Knowledge, and Confidence. Your readers will know if you don't know what you're talking about. Become familiar with your topic through research and experience.  **Don't jump off a train to see what it feels like, but a sofa or a step stool with a fan might help;)

3. Remember the 1st Line is the line kids and parents read in the store. Make it a good one! Read first lines from your favorite books. What makes them work? What doesn't?

4. Go with the Flow. Does the narrative you started with continue throughout the book? Why or why not? Was it intentional or did you fall off the tracks somewhere? Reread to pinpoint the break. *A rewrite might be in order to really address the issue and keep the flow moving.

5. Write UP for Children.  "Don't write down for children. Make them rise to you." That said, avoid complicated names and four syllable Scrabble winning words if one or two syllable words works. **Over-complications create stumbling blocks for the readers.

6. Avoid Autobiographies. "Use your world, but be careful using too much of yourself in your books." Use whats around you.

7. Use Truth as Basis for Writing. Don't worry about the Money. If you write a story based on the market and the paycheck at the end, you're doing yourself and your readers a disservice. Write the stories you NEED to tell.

8. "I am a camera." Readers want to feel like they're in the story jumping off the cliff with you or chasing after the bad guy or eating the ice cream sundae...Hmm, does that add to daily caloric consumption?

9. Plan your writing. Beginning, Middle, End

AND THE BEST ADVICE...........

                10. NEVER GIVE UP!!

AND SOME MORE EXCELLENT ADVICE...........

                 11. WRITE IT!!!!!

That's advice I can get behind! I'd add --don't forget the chocolate, but that's me:)


Write on,

Kim Briggs

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