I am so excited to get to sit in on this first of four workshop sessions with the amazing Linda Sue Park.
She has the ability to articulate so thoughfully about writing, in addition to being an amazing writer. (Yes, she's won the Newbury Award - among other laurels.)
Just in the first moments she's dissected what readers are looking for when they read books at the different age levels:
Picture Books - children are looking to find out about their world: colors, animals, ABCs.. They want to see their world reflected in books.
Middle Grade - they are reading to find out about the world - the world outside their circle of familiarity.
Young Adult - they are reading to find out about themselves.
She's had the sold-out room do two writing exercises, and now is breaking down how our characters have to be specific (in a time and place) to feel real - and then the emotions can be universal.
She gives as an example a 12 year old girl who likes music. All that gives you in your mind to picture is a face. Not even a hairstyle. Or what she's wearing. You need a time and place to make her real.
When writing, we have to find the mix between the specific and the universal.
Linda Sue Park is brilliant, and I'm so glad I got to be here for this.