|He said writing is made up of "persistence, talent, and luck" -- and that persistence is the only component we can really control.|
He said he thinks about his characters as being in a play or a movie, and he is the director, which means he gets to decide where to put the camera in every scene.
Additionally, he finds fantasy a helpful tool to assist storytelling, and humbly said it's "easier to make things up" and that he's "very lazy"! (We all know that isn't true.)
|I'm not very consistent about rules. Rules are for editors. –Sir Philip Pullman|
When asked why he sometimes uses challenging vocabulary in his books, and doesn't try to adjust the language for a younger age, he said he hoped that readers would stick with it anyway. "We continue with things we don't understand because we learn from them." He also said:
|"I trust readers to be at least as intelligent as I am, probably more."|
|"I'm writing for anyone who wants to read it."|
The conversation turned toward the subject of morality and optimism, writing our values and sharing them with our readers. He said:
He shared charming anecdotes, such as being motivated by a threatening letter received from a young reader:
"Finish your book or the squirrel will die!" That's *one* way to motivate your favorite writer.
Some timeless and consistent advice for those aspiring to publish their books in the future:
|"If you want to develop your craft as a writer, read."|
There was so much more than I could possibly cover in this post: dinner with Tolkien, frozen margaritas and bolo ties, Paradise Lost (but for kids), present tense narration as the "scourge" of children's literature...
Follow along with me @boygirlparty on Twitter / @boygirlparty on Instagram -- and follow the conference hashtag #SCBWISummerSpec -- for more conference highlights (and more of my live drawings!)
See you again tomorrow morning bright and early for a live conversation with another legend, Judy Blume.