New York Newbies…What We Learned

Writing Song of the Day: “School Spirit” by Kanye West

We made it back from New York in one piece. While the weekend started off, how should we put it, ANNOYINGLY, we learned a few things. Like to hear it? Here it goes…

  • Don’t travel along the east coast by plane in the winter: This is probably THE most important take away from the entire trip. No. Really. It is. 
  • Ngram Viewer: Author Elizabeth Wein shared this site during her keynote talk. It’s used for those of us who write historical fiction–you can check how often historical words and phrases shows up in books during a certain time period using this site. Read more about Elizabeth’s keynote here.
  • Make sure your story has an emotional and physical ending: Having TWO endings makes your story that much more complex and allows for a better resolution–from Jack Gantos’s keynote.
  • You can become a writer EVEN after being arrested!: Seriously Jack Gantos did it! Read more about his keynote speech on the SCBWI blog here.
  • When writing historical fiction, use objective research: Diaries are an easy go to, but they aren’t always accurate–use recipes, logs, obituaries, things that are based in fact. This was said by Kendra Levin of Vikings Children’s Books.
  • Don’t make writing like a bad first date: Adding too much back story in the beginning? Would you want a second date with that guy? This was said by Anica Rissi, editor at Katherine Tegen Books
  • Find a mentor: Try and find someone a little more successful than you to look up to, someone you aspire to be like–advice from Sara Shandler, Alloy Entertainment. (Is Veronica Roth okay to look up to??? )
That’s what we learned. What about you? What are some new writing tips that you’ve picked up lately?