Friday, August 10, 2007

Notes from Emma Dryden, McElderry Books

Emma was so smart and wise in her keynote address and in her workshop on writing the novel. I really liked her a lot.

Here are a few tidbits:

1. Write what you know, write what you feel, write what you care about.

2. Books are for the soul. Books are how we preserve our culture. (I never thought about books in quite that way before, but how true it is. We can see our culture change throughout the decades through the books we have and the books that have lasted.)

3. All writers are working their way through a darkness and into the light just like our young readers are trying to do as they grow up. (I'm realizing this more and more about myself the longer I write.)

My themes and premises change depending on what I'm going through at the moment or what I've gone through during my life in the past. Maybe I'm confessing more than I should! Ha! But a writer's theme is never written down as such in the pages of their manuscript or even spoken in concrete words by a character. And that *take away* value a reader gets from a book might be something completely different for another reader. But a good book, a meaningful, emotional story always has one.

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