Before I dive into what I learned about my fiction writing, I need to discuss two major realizations that hit me on Sunday:
|A travel mug I clearly need.|
2. Speaking of what I do for a living, after Kellie Celia's intensive on school and library outreach, I've come to understand that I possess an incredible knowledge bank and skill set that few authors have. I am a professional outreach educator. I shine in front of audiences of all ages and sizes, and can entertain and teach even the dreaded "middle schoolers". This session showed me how little the average author knows about speaking to kids at schools--something I just take for granted as common knowledge, because of the nature of my job. NESCBWI 2013 taught me that I really should find a way to help other authors learn the ins and outs of outreach and presenting to children. (2014 session anyone?)
So yes. Two surprising revelations that taught me that I'm cooler than I thought I was. But what about my Work In Progress manuscript? Did I learn anything about that?
Of course! I challenge anyone to go to an NESCBWI conference and not leave armed with some great ideas.
First, I've confirmed that I need to make my manuscript 20% shorter. I knew it deep down, but it was helpful to have that told to my face.
Second, Kate Messner's great revision workshop helped me identify the true heart of my manuscript, which will make cutting 20% of it much, much easier. (Thank you again, Kate.)
Finally, and this is going to sound cliché, but I learned that the world really does need my book. I won't go into details, but I have more conviction than ever that a science-driven novel (with a female lead) needs to get out there in the hands of kids.
So thank you, NESCBWI 2013. It was another fantastic conference, and I got a chance to help spread the word about my critique partner's debut novel, GOLDEN BOY by Tara Sullivan, coming out June 27th!
|Yes, we were the group with the shirts!|