Write At Your Own Risk

I just returned from my third VCFA residency, where I chilled (quite literally) in negative degree Vermont weather. Of course the true joy of VCFA residency is spending two weeks drinking up the sweet deliciousness of my brilliant VCFA friends, picking the brains of the esteemed faculty, listening to craft-boggling lectures, and overall being surrounded by the warm-fuzzy-chocolately-goodness that is the VCFA community. Love and more love!

It’s all going by so fast. It felt like just yesterday that I started on this journey and I can’t believe I’m half way through the MFA program!  Wow!

So, as I rest from the awesome-sauce that is VCFA residency, and prepare for the awesome-sauce of writing my critical thesis (which I will be writing this term – YIKES!) I though I’d share a few quick quips of writerly wisdom! Enjoy:

  • Dialog is not your plot bitch.
  • Don’t try to be funny in every line. Humor should serve an authentic purpose in the scene and story.
  • Why is success considered more important than the beautiful possibility that exists before? Slow down.
  • “Even the heart of Satan has a divine spark, even the heart of evil yearns to be redeemed.” – Rob Zalman
  • Illustrators want to be intrigued by a picture book text and puzzle it out.
  • When writing romance we need to move beyond the idea that romantic love can save us.
  • Beware of your narrator owning your story.
  • Poets are our societies prophets.
  • Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not that it is raining, but of being rained upon.
  • Children are an audience “in progress.” If you tell them something they are bound to believe it.
  • “If you alter even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.” – James Baldwin
  • You are allowed only one convenient coincidence in a book.
  • “The only way to fail is to not write the book you care about.” – Libba Bray

Happy 2012! I hope everyone has an inspired, productive, and growth-filled writing year!

5 thoughts on “Write At Your Own Risk

  1. Nice, Ingrid. I’ve never been to a writer’s conference. But that’s not a coincidence. I like the last one, about not writing the book I care about.
    95,000 words into my latest novel, I discover that it will have to be three books because the canvas is so large. It scares me. Once I get going, get the momentum of writing working for me, I can finish the project.. The hardest part is writing without knowing if anyone will ever read the MS. That’s just truth, given conditions in the writing world of the present. Keep doing your good work!

  2. This is a great list–my favourites are #3 and # 4:

    “Why is success considered more important than the beautiful possibility that exists before? Slow down.”

    “Even the heart of Satan has a divine spark, even the heart of evil yearns to be redeemed.” – Rob Zalman

    Did you author #3?

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