Bruce Coville is a remarkable storyteller and author, and when you read his books, like "Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher," and "My Teacher Is An Alien," and any of the other fantasies among his nearly 100 published titles, you can see his mastery of the Art of Writing Fantasy.
Bruce shared from his heart and expertise, giving us some amazing tips and advice and techniques that I can't wait to try. He answered our many questions in depth, and even did a number of first page critiques of the attendees' fantasy projects.
For me, listening to Bruce read my first page and a half out loud was remarkable. See, Bruce doesn't just read, he weaves a magic spell.
When they're his words, it's as if he's chanting them.
Enchanting his listeners and readers.
Re-enchanting our world.
And for the first time, listening to Bruce read my story opening aloud, I could hear how my words fell so far short of what I had hoped they would achieve.
And when I asked for more insight about when to start a fantasy story, what Bruce shared really resonated:
You don't have to start with the fantasy, but you might want to start with the character's problem in this world.
And it was an epiphany for me.
I may not know exactly HOW to solve the puzzle of my opening pages, but now I understand the problem with the starting point I had chosen.
Everyone finished Bruce's session energized and inspired. And as for me, I'm all fired up to do some of the brainstorming exercises he suggested to figure out how I'm going to meet the challenge, and start my story in the right place!
I'm so grateful to Bruce, and to SCBWI, for this amazing opportunity to really sink my teeth into craft and learn from a master.
Because I'm going to keep working at it until my words chant. Enchant. And re-enchant my readers, and our world.