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A snippet of my MFAC notes

I had this fabulous plan that I would post all 11 days of this residency. As it turns out, at the end of the morning work shopping, the social lunches, the afternoon lectures, and the evening readings, all there’s time for is falling into bed with the vague hope that I’ll wake up to my alarm so I can get up and do it all over again.

It’s like speed dating…except learning. Speed learning.

Each moment a talented author or fellow student is standing in front of me saying something amazing about writing for children, and all there is time for is a quick note in my journal before I’m on to the next author, next student, next reading, next presenter, next night of drunken Karaoke (OK. Fine. That only happened once, but you get the point.)

And even if I did have the energy to write about what I’m learning each day, it would fill 37 blog posts. So I’ll make you a deal, Bob Barker. Instead, I’m going to write about this experience and share what I learned after the fact.

For now, I’ll try to post a gems. Here are some gems from the first four days:

1. Writing a plot is like having a conversation with the reader, where you (the writer) give the reader what they need when they need it.  Give something away too soon, and you’ve bored your reader. Hold back too much, and you’ve annoyed your reader. –Mary Logue

2. You’re main character needs friends and foes. And remember, sometimes friends become foes, and foes become friends. –Mary Logue

3. When trying to create suspense in your novel, rearrange the events of the novel. –Marsha Qualey

4. Young adults publishers and editors are looking for books that have distinctive voices, confident visions, indelible characters, and unforgettable settings. They are looking for books that are similar to the ones they loved as children. –Deborah Kovacs (Walden Media)