Monday, April 20, 2009

Loft's Children's Literature Festival

Went to the conference this weekend. Loved the talk by Pete Hautman. Bought Godless but I haven’t read it yet. The list gets longer and longer(just started The Order of Odd-Fish, love the beginning and Korsekov's digestion).

Anyway. Pete told us a list of "bumps" that he needed to have to make him a published writer. He started by joking about how some of his epiphanies were small ones(like the spelling of separate), which was extra funny to me because last week I had had an epiphany that felt as if I were about to change the world, I felt taller and lighter and all the epiphany boiled down to was, I was making this writing thing harder than it needed to be. After I realized what a tiny epiphany it really was I, of course, thought I'd blog about it.

But, instead I will blog about Pete Hautman's larger ones, they seem more worthy. Some of his realizations, I’m just learning myself. He spent a long time talking about trusting the reader and had this cool exercise where he told a story and then asked questions about it. I perhaps will have to steal it someday (give him credit of course) but it was a great teaching tool for how mind fills in the gaps. When I first started my WIP, I was always so worked up about getting the reader places. In the first draft, there are so many scenes without necessary oomf. It causes such pain just for me to look at all those unnecessary words. Because I didn't know that the reader knew this already. How come it takes so long to learn this stuff?

Another thing Pete talked about was point of view. He told a story about watching his dog hunting voles in the back yard, how in each part of the action, there were different perspectives to take, depending on what was at stake. Oh, point of view! Did Pete say that it was the most important part of the novel or did someone else say that to me recently? I certainly believe it.

More about the festival later.

As always(looking for the crux of things),
Tina