The first day of the SCBWI Florida Mid-Year Workshop is the intensives. These are an extra expense, and limited in attendance, so I find they can be better craft-wise than the regular workshop days.
This year, I attended the Novel Intensive, which was presented by Gaby Triana, Nancy Werlin, and Josh Adams.
Some great takeaways from the Intensive:
Gaby Triana did a presentation on Writing With Character, using the Storysaurus. I had actually heard of the Storysaurus before from Jamie Harrington (link). However, Gaby uses the Storysaurus to plot her character arc, in the same way. She had us mark our manuscripts with our character arc, and it was very enlightening.
Then we listened to First Page Critiques, which is when the panel reads first pages out loud and critiques them. Some things that stood out to me in the critiques were: inauthentic dialog, too much description, and not having the protagonist on the first page. The panelists also noted that a good title can be an attention-grabber.
Next Nancy took us through Storyboard plotting, a technique she adapted from Carolyn Coman's WRITING STORIES. A storyboard is a map to your story and ensures that you have action driving your plot. We storyboarded our novels, and it was fun and interesting. I suggest you check out Ms. Coman's book and try it yourself!
Then Josh talked about today's YA market. This was a fascinating presentation. He talked about trends and the market, and about what his agency looks for. I loved his enthusiasm and obvious love for books in general, and the books he represents, specifically.
Nancy and Gaby then presented on The Art of Time Management (or in other words, how do you find time to write?). Nancy suggested scheduling appointments for yourself, but the bottom line seemed to be--make it a priority. And stop wasting time on the internet--lol.
Overall, I had a wonderful day at the Novel Intensive. Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a signed copy of Nancy's book IMPOSSIBLE and some RENEGADE swag.
You get extra points for commenting on today's post. :)
Come back on Tuesday for my Conference Wrap Up of Day Two--The YA Track.