Hi everyone, I had a wonderful, crazy, awful, full week last week and I didn't even remember to post!! Let me tell you a little bit about why I was so busy. I attended an Online FREE Writer's conference. It's called The Muse Online Writer's Conference. There was so much information, my brain was spinning! I didn't participate alot, I mostly lurked in the forums and copy and pasted information to be processed at a later date, when my brain can handle it.
I also got to pitch my children's picture book to an agent. When I say an agent, not just any agent, it was Caryn Wiseman from Andrea Brown Literary Agency, one of my top choices!! I was super nervous and didn't even copy my pitch into the chat room correctly, but I got the point across. Then instead of gushing praise (I think I really did expect that!) she said she liked the concept, but why did the mom have to be sick? I stared at the screen for a moment then began groveling, "I'm willing to change it! It can stand alone, the first draft didn't have her illness, I just thought it would add depth." At that point we got our two minute warning and she said for me to cut it to 1000 words, change the title to Imagination Vacation, take out the mother's illness, then send it to her. I complied and sent it to her on Fri. I'm still waiting for a response, but after I made the changes the story is something I'm finally proud of. So even if I get a rejection I'm ready to send out to other agents and publishing companies!
Now I'm going to share a fun exercise I learned at the online conference in a class given by the organizer of the whole conference, Lea Schizas. The class was called "Assaulting a Writer's Thinking" It is designed to help jump start your juices and get your writing to flow. I really needed it. This is straight from her class, read her exercise and example then write your own in the comments.
Where do ideas come from? In Chapter Two I gave you tons of ideas if ever you get stumped…writer’s block. Now, funny enough, I never get writer’s block. As a matter of fact I have way too many ideas floating in my head and no time to write them all. However, I do keep a notebook just for ideas. If you don’t write your ideas down on paper when they strike you, they will be forgotten quicker than you can say, HUH?
The one thing I have constantly used and has never failed me to get new ideas is a fairy tale. That’s right, a fairy tale. How? Let me show you:
Let’s take the three pigs for an example:
Three pigs = three musicians – college buddies who form a band and want to make it big
The bad wolf = their manager – embezzles from the boys
The straw house = their first shabby apartment they rented in college while going to school and building their music career
The wooden house = their first home after their agent signs them up and gets them several gigs and small tours
The brick home = the mansion the boys get after they hit it big
Back to the wooden home = the home they need to downsize after they are left in debt when their manager takes off with their money
At this point I begin to build their fairy tale happy ever after finale where the boys struggle to make the comeback and overcome the deficit they are faced with; the fans who turn on them because the manager spread rumors about them, etc.
I use a fairy tale for the basic background of players but change the setting and pitfalls.
For this Day Two lesson I want each of you to use The Three Little Pigs fairy tale and come back with your own bulletpoint outline as I have.
At the end of this lesson you will see the various storylines anyone can come up with if you use a fairy tale as a storyboard.
Everyone try this excercise, and I hope to see you at next year's online conference. Registration starts in November!