Sunday, April 13, 2014

#SCBWIWWA14: Franny Billingsley sends us off

"Fear is one of the most powerful tools writers have." With this idea, Franny kicked off the talk that closed out our 2014 conference and sent off attending writers and illustrators.

She addressed the intersection of character and plot (and of inner and outer story arcs), invoking Robert McKee's concept of a mind worm. She shared Kathi Appelt's view of the two great human motivators. (Can you guess? Hint: One is fear.) And she showed how her points played out in her celebrated YA fantasy, Chime.

By the close of her talk, attendees were newly inspired to force their characters out of their comfort zones. It's a message that resonates with other things they heard all weekend long about the bravery needed to create and the vital importance of stepping outside of our own comfort zones to create and market wonderful stories for young readers.

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