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Learn New Things to Spread Your Writing and Illustrating Wings

“Learn New Things to Spread Your Writing and Illustrating Wings” by Joan Y. Edwards

It is so great when you learn new things, it makes you feel like you have wings that have spread wider. It makes you soar high over head so that you can see what you used to do and envision what you are going to do in the future. A change in knowledge creates a change in action. Many times education is the motivation to change and act or react differently. The SCBWI-Carolinas conference was that to me. Here are three things I’d like to share with you:

  1. I went to the PAL Intensive workshop, “How to Produce a Book Trailer” with Curtis Sponsler, media consultant: Curtis is multi-talented. I learned that your book trailer needs to tell three emotions or emotional situations, for example: abandonment, passion, revenge. These emotions are the ones felt in the story. They will impact your readers. The pitch you used to entice an agent, lure an editor, and keep your readers on edge is the same one you need for your book trailer.
  2. The ending high note of the conference was John Claude Bemis, award-winning author.  John says that your brain is really good at figuring out patterns and relationships between one thing and another. Therefore, one of his suggestions for figuring out a story idea when you’re stuck for an answer is to take an idea from anywhere:  say to yourself:

  •  “I’m going to use an idea that I get from page 33 of the SCBWI magazine to name my character.”
  •  “I’ll use page 7 of the newspaper for a bad thing to happen to my character in Chapter 4.”

In the 20 year hit television series (1990-2010) Law and Order, Dick Wolf used newspaper articles like this in his to get ideas for his stories.  Why not you?

  1. Marietta Zacker, agent with Nancy Gallt Literary Agency, used a memory of her grandfather and a cup of warm milk to teach us to write and illustrate what we are passionate about. Strong passions resonate with the agents, editors, gatekeepers, and readers.  Stir, Stir, Stir your ideas that are in your cup of writing with your warm milk.  Stir in the strong contrasting emotions, opposite-minded characters, and situations to get them so upset they have to change. Drink them. Let them permeate your body, mind, and soul. Write. Illustrate. Create a work that shares your vision. Enjoy your journey.

Do something today to help you spread your writing and illustrating wings. Experience what you love. Celebrate you.

Live. Write. Illustrate. Revise. Submit.
Joan Y. Edwards

Please leave a comment. I value your opinion.

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Copyright © 2011 Joan Y. Edwards


8 Responses

  1. Joan, I love the idea of using something random like a newspaper to help unstick the plot. I’m just starting to outline my next novel, so this is an especially good time to use the idea.


    • Dear Peggy,
      Thanks for stopping by. It’s pretty cool, isn’t it? John Bemis is right. Your brain can find patterns and relationships that are uncanny and fit right in your story. Awesome! Random is a good word for it. I think he actually said to find your answer in an ambiguous source. Random sounds clearer to me. Thanks for that.
      Good luck with your new novel. I know it’s going to be a good one. Do something fun today before the sun goes down.

      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards


  2. I hadn’t heard John say this. Thanks for sharing!


    • Dear Carol,
      Thanks for writing. He may not have used my particular words. He said that we could be like a fortune teller and look for answers from ambiguous sources. He mentioned like a certain page in a magazine. In a comment to my blog, Margaret Fieland called them random…that sounds clearer to me. Perhaps that will help you, too.
      I wish you good luck with your current writing project. Your novel is filled with emotions and events that will pull readers, agents, editors, and gatekeepers in.

      Do something fun for you before the sun goes down today!
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards


  3. Joan,

    Thanks for the tidbits from the conference. I’m so happy to hear new ways to look at things.

    Linda A.


    • Dear Linda, You’re welcome for the tidbits from the conference. It is fun to learn how to look at things in new ways. Do something fun for you to celebrate your great sense of caring for others.

      Add Color to Your Life

      Play. Laugh. Smile. Joan Y. Edwards


  4. Thanks for the great info Joan. I think it most important to enjoy the journey. I’m inclined to say I enjoy the research as much as i do the writing. Learning new things is just as satisfying to me as creating something new from it. I enjoy your blog. You always have something of value to share.


    • Dear Susan, Thanks for leaving a comment. I’m glad you enjoy my blog. That adds a smile to my happiness stack. We’re alike in that we both like to learn new things. That’s neat how finding out new things is as satisfying to you as creating something new with it. That doubles the fun from one experience. Do something fun for you before the 24th hour.

      Add Color to Your Life

      Play. Laugh. Smile. Joan Y. Edwards


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