#220: Perpetual Student

I’ve been sleeping a lot this week, in part because of change in weather. I finished fleshing out the first act of GRACE, and have a sense of the ending, and am now tasked with maybe the toughest part to write: the middle. Luckily this was exactly the topic of a session by author Gary D. Schmidt at the SCBWI Michigan Fall Conference on Friday. (Gary was kind enough to write a blurb for COSMOS, and his novel Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy is one of my favorites I’ve read in the genre.)

We talked a lot about E.M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel (which it might finally be time for me to read), and everyone in the audience individually worked through a throwaway short story. My notes mention dominant questions, endowed objects, complications, shifts in time. But as Gary said of the strategies, at the start of the session: Take what works for you, and ignore the rest. Unsaid, but no less remembered: Never stop being a student of what you do.

I’ve only written two paragraphs and my foot’s already numb. I think that means I should leave it here tonight, and rest more for the week ahead.