“That magical, magical moment when your character starts to whisper in your ear – that’s why I write.”
– Laurie Halse Anderson
Today I spent another wonderful day at the State Library of Victoria for the YA Matters conference listening to some brilliant writers. Broken up into four sessions, we heard authors speak about science fiction, pop culture, contemporary fiction and fantasy. A special thanks to the State Library, the Centre for Youth Literature and the featured authors (and random actor): Amie Kaufman, Sean Williams, Clare Atkins, Will Kostakis, Matt Testro, Laurie Halse Anderson, Sara Farizan, Sally Gardner and Jaclyn Moriarty!
I thoroughly enjoyed each session and have many invaluable notes of inspiration, advice and tid bits to think about. I have compiled my favourites below!
Just because it has been done before doesn’t mean you can’t do it again.
Science fiction: Imagining how people will engage with cool new tech.
Plotters vs Pantsers – those who plan and those who fly by the seat of their pants!
Write what you love!
Want to write? Practice.
Fan Fiction: A great way to practice writing by taking worlds and characters that already exist and bringing to life the ‘what ifs’.
Write about who you know – just give them some warning first.
When writing pop culture references, how do you do it with out becoming dated?
Building characters: Start with the archetypes and add the shades of grey.
How do you get contemporary right (on the criticism spectrum between too fluffy to too graphic)? Don’t worry about it!
Write what you want to understand.
Learn to write about those who are different by getting to know people not just reading about them in the library.
Artists are called on to push the boundaries so they can open doors for those who can’t do it themselves.
How do you get out of your own way? Just write, don’t think.
Fantasy: Feeds souls and changes lives.
Fairytales talk to the beat of our souls and understands our fears.
Fairytales are the start of the yellow brick road to fantasy.
Great writers know the art of what to leave out.
Days and seasons in your writing are important to know.
Make something extraordinary happen!
Want more? Follow the hashtag #YAmatters on social media for all the fabulous YA conversation.