As Emma Dryden, an experienced editor and children's publishing professional, said on our last day together when she gave us an overview of the digital landscape of publishing, "Buckle your seat belts, and get ready for the ride!"
When we introduced each other during our Saturday night get together, we were asked what superpower we wished we could have. After a moment's thought I replied, "I would like to be able to heal old hurts." My unexpected tears told me I had struck a chord. That bit of self-realization--that applies both to my life and my book--was a tremendous way for me to begin this seminar.
My week began on Monday morning with much anticipated classes on Voice and Deep Point of View. Emma Dryden said, "Voice turns an "anyone" into a "someone." An author must employ word choice, sentence structure, vernacular, slang, idioms, to create the "poetry of speech."
She told us that, "Voice helps identify characters in a setting. It lies beneath the actual words the characters use." Underneath those words, our characters' bodies and eyes may say something else. "The emotions, motivations, fears, hopes, desires, internal trajectory of your characters should all be expressed through dialogue, actions, and thoughts."
Later Monday morning, Lorin Oberweger, the mastermind and talented wordsmith behind Free Expressions, taught us about deep point of view. She introduced her class with the words, "Seduction—not instruction." In a nutshell, deep POV is about, "Creating a immersive rich environment on the page that seduces the reader. You want your reader to lose herself in your book." Writers want to avoid "Instruction" with a more distance POV that’s more authorial.
As much as possible, writers need to see the world through their characters' eyes and experiences. The more we are inside our characters' skin, the greater our ability to write how their emotions dictate their responses. Lorin told us to use rich details to show who they are, what they love, and how their passions filter through their language and experiences.
A tall order.
But after a week with the staff of Free Expressions, I am excited to dig in and make this happen.
Now, back to work.
|Lorin Oberweger, Brenda Windberg, Emma Dryden, & me!|
Next week in Part II of this series, I'll share what I learned about creating deep scenes and how Gary Provost's sentence can shape your WIP.