Before watching the presidential town hall last night, I went to the Fierce Reads tour at Powells.
Although I arrived early, I had to take a seat in the fifth row because so many fans were excited to see the four authors who would be talking. Although my view was obstructed, I could hear everything clearly.
The author that I and most audience members were most excited to see was Leigh Bardugo who was promoting her newest book, Crooked Kingdom, the sequel to Six of Crows.
Kami Garcia, author of the Beautiful Creatures series, was promoting The Lovely Reckless.
There were two new authors to me, Emma Mills and Caleb Roehrig, who were promoting their mysteries This Adventure Ends and Last Seen Leaving respectively.
Although I enjoyed listening to each of the authors talk, I only took notes on the parts where they offered writing advice for aspiring writers that I can take back to school. They were specifically asked for advice for young writers who might be considering NaNoWriMo, but I think most of it is relevant to writing at any time. Here is what I gleaned:
- don’t be afraid to write badly
- write 2000 words a day
- have a plan, but banish the idea of perfection in a draft
- if you get stuck, write what you are thinking at the time to break the paralysis between your head and your hands
- when you get stuck
- talk to your characters
- verbalize the problem
- with the point of view you are writing
- step away from the problem (run, drive, get out of the house)
- work/focus on something else
- don’t go online
- the more obsessed you become with solving a problem, the less likely you are to solve it
- talk to friends/critique partners – they may help spark a new idea
They all agreed that the first draft is just a baby step. My favorite line of the afternoon came from Kami Garcia who said, “Revising is the real thing”.