Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ellen Hopkins on VOICE!

The official Title of this breakout session is "The Not So Mysterious Teen Voice: Like Totally Not OMG!!!"

Ellen's first sentence:
Every teen is so different, it's hard to tell you what is "teen voice"

Ellen's telling us that she gets around 300 twitter tweets, myspace messages and facebook messages and friend requests across all these social media a day from teens.

She's reading a selection of them, asking us to imagine what the message senders look like.

Ellen's advice includes this gem:
Create your characters first, and understand their realms of experience, and then you'll have their voices.

Create your characters first, and then you can figure out your plot.

Plot needs to flow from characters.

If you don't do it in that order, then like happens to Ellen, your characters will wake you up and say "You know, I wouldn't do that."

Ellen spends 2 months pre-writing her books, creating the characters, figuring out who are their parents, their friends, their realm of experience. And then she layers them, figuring out what's good in their life, and what's bad in their life.

And then the plot flows from knowing all that...

WOW. Ellen is a MASTER at this. The room is glued to her every word, listening to her voice. We're all learning so much...

Posted by Lee Wind


  1. I absolutely love her, and her speech was amazing. This single hour made every dollar spent on this conference worth it.

  2. Love that. Ellen is so brilliant. Thanks, Lee, for giving us a window.

  3. So bummed I missed this one. There were so many good workshops to choose from!