March 10th, 2010

Do you want to meet great authors? Do you want to support a good cause?

And do you live in the Portland area? Because you should totally come to Homeword Bound, a fundraiser for affordable housing.

The headliners are Matt Love, author of Citadel of the Spirit, and Willy Vlautin, who is not only an author, but handsome (last time I saw him he had broken his arm horseback riding, which just added to his charm), AND he is the main guy behind the great indie band Richmond Fontaine. [Full disclosure: Yes, I am in like with him, which is only possible to admit because a)I’m older, b)I’m married, and c)last time I saw him he was with a beautiful girl with eyes like a doe and a body like a ballerina’s.]

The other authors are:
Debra Gwartney•April Henry•Bart Kingg •Joe Kurmaskie•Jeff Mapes•Loyce Martinazzi R. Gregory Nokes•Naseem Rakha•David Michael Slater•Tim Sproul

Friday, April 9, 2010
6–10 pm
Tualatin Country Club
Tickets $65: Includes dinner and a silent auction. You can also buy books at the event.
Reservations required: call 503.293.4038 or

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Use what you already have

Whenever I get stuck in a story, when I need to add a twist or bring in a new character, if I’m smart, I’ll go back and re-read what I’ve written. Because a lot of time I’ve unconsciously planted seeds that are just begging to flower.

The always interesting young woman who blogs as The Intern talks about that phenomenon when it comes to the YA manuscripts she sees - and how often a new author will try to fix things, not by growing something organically from the story, but by forcefully adding some new, clashing elements.

She says, “So many YA manuscripts start out fun, crazy, and wonderful, then enter this weird spiral where the author doesn't know how to resolve all the zany hi-jinks and starts freaking out: "OKOKOKOK....moon people! That'll be hilarious! Aaaaaaand....I'll say that all this time, the antagonist was secretly a hummingbird! That'll solve everything!" Instead of using elements that already belong to the world of the story, they start looking for an extrinsic solution, which, even if it kinda works, is never as emotionally or intellectually satisfying as a solution that comes from deep within the story.”

Read the rest of her advice here.

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