Today I made my annual trek to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I sat in on some panels comprised of writers of young adult paranormal and fantasy novels. Here are some notes I jotted in my journal.
- Magic realism is not a genre you want to write if you want to be considered a ‘serious’ writer, but write it anyway.
- Ghost stories allow us to explore dark moral areas.
- Find new ways in your writing to investigate traditional themes.
- Use small pockets of time to write and always be writing in your head.
- Use noise canceling headphones while writing.
- Walk each day.
- Read your work out loud and listen to the rhythm and sound of the words.
- Write a one-page synopsis of your plot just to get you thinking about where you want the story to go. Then write a twenty-page synopsis with each paragraph possibly becoming a chapter. Be aware, though, that you may start in one direction but your characters may take over the story. You cannot force your characters to take the story in a direction that is not true to their nature.
I did not buy a single book at the Festival, but came away with priceless ideas.