Sunday, August 1, 2010

Arthur A. Levine Workshop: Strong Emotions on the Page (Day 3)

Class began on a dramatic note: The box for completed assignments was somehow emptied out and put to use in the joke contest. (Oh, the cruel irony. The joke box, people! The joke box!) If anyone knows where these assignments went, please hand them to an SCBWI staffer.

We are discussing our written assignments--turning our sensory snapshots into 350-word pieces that convey a particular emotion. Each writer is reading his or her work aloud, and Arthur is identifying the emotion the language and imagery convey.

He's giving us good, concrete advice:
  • Give us images that cut past sentiment (fresh, vivid ones);
  • Keep the tone consistent;
  • Make sure the language you choose supports the emotional target you're aiming for; and
  • Observe things precisely to identify exactly the words you want to use.
Oh, and in case you were wondering...having Arthur discuss your writing is as scary and exhilarating as you might imagine. There are many sweaty palms in the room today.

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