Thursday, February 25, 2016

February meeting recap

Yes, this is coming a little late, but February's monthly meeting was so good, you'll want to hear all about it if you weren't there:

In a stunning, Valentine's Day twist, our two presenters represented two sides of young-adult stories:




Fonda Lee brings us closer to the ACTION!

Fonda Lee, author of ZEROBOXER, is a black-belt martial artist and has done a lot of writing and thinking about fight scenes and the way we depict physical action in telling stories. Action, she told us, must contain a Climatic Moment, High Stakes, and Specificity. Her Principles of Great Action include: Action Evokes Emotion (in the characters and the reader); Action Must Serve a Narrative Purpose (consequences); and Action is About Character (character is revealed through decisions made under extreme circumstances).

Fonda's stellar outline featured so many pertinent details of how to deepen a scene and a character, whether they're about to hurt each other. It's about putting your characters in harm's way, emotionally, physically, or psychologically––and seeing how they behave/react.

Amber J. Keyser flings open the bedroom door.

On the other side of the spectrum, Amber J. Keyser spoke about THE V-WORD, her anthology of sexual awakenings and experiences by authors from their, ahem, formative years. Without talking around the issues surrounding sex, Amber made the case for WHY we need to include sex in our stories of teens: because it's a big part of their lives, of their self-discovery. And, it's always in their minds! To NOT write about it would be to leave out a very present and authentic aspect to the teenage experience. The goal in writing about sex, she emphasized, is to not write with the goal to titillate but to convey authentic experience––and all of its awkward, messy moments. If you choose to include it, then make it matter. Because it matters to teens. Being specific and honest and detailed will give the ultimate audience––teens––a way to figure their own sensibilities out.

LOOKING AHEAD: Stay tuned for specific posts on the blog with dates, etc.

Monthly meeting 3/16: Siblings in middle-grade stories (with SCBWI-Oregon's Roseanne Parry) AND a panel on Diversity (featuring Philip Lee, Liz Wong, and more)

Kid Lit Drink Night 3/10: Our fearless leaders, Kevan and Lois, are looking for a convivial place in the South End. Any suggestions? Please send them along to the blog, or to either of them directly.

No comments: