- Illustration is cool, but I only halfway get it. LeUyen Pham gave a wonderful visual presentation about how images affect us and how we "read" them -- where the eye goes first, where it goes second, and so on, and how the artist controls the path of viewers' eyes through a picture. But I only agreed with the majority audience opinion of where the gaze falls first, second, third, etc., maybe half to two-thirds of the time. The rest of the time, I saw something else first.
- Photos don't turn out so hot when the lectern is right in front of a light. :( Of course, I knew this, but the result is still no photos. Oh well.
- There are three kinds of plots, says Cheryl Klein, but they aren't simply the "man vs. man," "man vs. self," and "man vs. nature" plots we may have learned in HS English. These, she groups into a broader category called the Conflict plot. The other two plots are Mystery, in which the character must gain information or answer a question, and Lack, in which the character feels something is missing and must be gained or attained in order to achieve happiness.
- The content of a speaker's talks belongs to the speaker; it is her or his intellectual property. Speakers, frankly, plan to give their talks multiple times, and if they want to write and publish that content, that right belongs to them, as Cheryl Klein has done with her book on revision, Second Sight. Therefore, I will not be blogging extensively about any one person's presentation.
- Conference food is generally awesome, and this weekend was no exception. My jeans are feeling a mite snug, to tell the truth.
- I got the opportunity to be part of the critique faculty for the conference, and loved it.
- Doing your research works! By that I mean that though conferences are wonderful (am I using that word too much?) informative and networking events, for the writer who immerses herself in learning the craft and the industry they are a supplement to and an affirmation of many things she has already learned. Though she will pick up new tidbits, no question, and her head may spin with the best of them trying to contain it all, if she's done her homework she's not drowning in new information. It's more like she's watered by it.
- I'm going to stop here and post more about the conference next week, and even into a third week if the content -- or my random processing process -- warrants.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Processing a Conference -- Or, Unspinning Your Head, Part 1
I spent last weekend at the SCBWI-WI fall retreat, and what an excellent three days! Thank you to the wonderful, dedicated SCBWI leaders and the top-notch faculty, which included agent Tracey Adams of Adams Literary, editors Cheryl Klein of Arthur A. Levine (Scholastic) and Andrea Welch of Beach Lane Books (Simon and Schuster), illustrator LeUyen Pham, and authors Laura Ruby and Marsha Wilson Chall. For reasons that I hope will become apparent, I'm going to dive right into some thoughts that I took away from the weekend: