Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Esther Hershenhorn!!

First, allow me to gush.  I just adored meeting Esther!  She was funny, full of great information, approachable, wonderfully friendly, and I totally dug her scarf (I am incapable of wearing scarves - since I have no chin they make my nose look connected to my chest - not attractive).

Now I just want to give you some bullet points of her talk, which was entitled "Rx for Children's Book Creators: Getting your Stories Straight".  I can obviously not do it justice in my short-form blog, so I'm just gonna hit some key points/phrases.  She broke down three elements of a story and related it to both the stories we write and our personal writer story that we are living. 

  • Plot comes from character
  • Character is everything
  • You have to know the character's heart way before the story starts
  • What the character wants is the physical plot line
  • Why the character wants it is the emotional plot line
  • Why do you write for children?
  • What are your nouns and verbs?
  • The setting gives the reader a framework, a reference point
  • What are the settings in your life as a writer?
    • For example:  the world of children's literature, publishing, other writers, etc.
  • Plot is when the character is in action - confronting and overcoming obstacles
  • An interconnectedness of events should be present
  • There needs to be action and reaction and the accompanying emotion
  • A chronology is essential to the plot
  • What are the actions, obstacles, emotions in your own story as a writer?
I apologize for the overly simplistic breakdown.  I just knew that I wouldn't be able to capture the vibrancy of the speech, so I went for the bare bones.  She certainly gave me a lot to think about and analyze and work into my writing.  It is a challenge to be more introspective and aware of my own story and how it plays out in my writing.  I can't thank Esther enough for such inspiration!


  1. This is really interesting Meg. I wrote about much the same thing the other day, but it won't be on my blog until tomorrow I believe. Not so much about the characters, but where your ideas come from. A combination of the two posts is a great place to gear yourself up for writing a new piece.

  2. We should coordinate, Catherine! Everyone go over to Catherine's blog tomorrow! Just click "Kangaroobee's Blog" over on my side bar to get there. She is in my list of "Fun Blogs to Check Out"!