Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Where in the World has Kim been?

That's a good question, and one I can probably answer, but it won't be quick and believe me, it might even be painful.

Since July's World Cup post, I've been to Ocean City, New Jersey, Los Angeles, CA for the SCBWI Conference--pure awesomeness by the way (I'll post photos in the upcoming months--you know just me hanging with Stephen Chbosky, Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Jay Asher, Thirteen Reason's Why), and the day after LA, I left for three weeks to camp in the Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee. During the fall, I coordinated and ran Eastern Pa's Fall Philly Event, and spent my afternoons and weekends as my kiddos personal chauffeur. I've also been elbow deep in revisions for my New Adult, And Then He--and squeak: It's ALMOST ready to submit. I'm a little crazy and A LOT neurotic, but I swear to you I will be submitting it soon. Darn thing won't publish itself.

And shiver me timbers and call me stubborn, but after the Fall Philly event, I went back to work on the beginning of my Young Adult Contemporary Realistic, Starr Fall. Starr's story begs to be told, and she won't be quiet about it. She kicks my ass every so often to remind me that I need to submit her book if she's ever going to kick the Organization's ass. And da, da, dahhhhh, I think I've finally got the beginning Starr Fall was meant to have, and after my NY SCBWI intensives on Friday, I'll find out if I'm heading in the write direction... (You got that, right?)

So tomorrow I leave for the NYSCBWI conference, and I can't wait. It's my second conference as Co-Regional Advisor for Eastern PA, and let me tell you, SCBWI membership has it's privileges. I get to meet and hang out with hundreds of writers, illustrators, and creative types who LOVE books as much as I do.

AND you want to know what makes it even better? My Ink Sisters, Donna Boock and Alison Green Myers, are coming with me!! Eeeeppppp!! Inspiration will be ours!!


Off to pack my journals, notebooks, and pens...(Glad I stocked up on my office supplies.)

Stay tuned for details on the NY15SCBWI!!

Write on,
Kim