Monday, March 11, 2013

The February Hollywood Schmooze

The February Schmooze was awesome.
We met in a different location and we apologize for the changes, but we do not have a permanent space yet.
Many of us had reached the goals we set the last month. The threat of having to pay into the kitty served as good incentive.
1) EILEEN WESSON: shared “WRITING FROM THE MIND OF A CHILD AWAKENS OUT PLAYFUL NATURE AS WRITERS.” She passed out paper and pastels and asked us to scribble and smudge colors however (not to think of it as “drawing.”) This revealed our unconscious, which we then interpreted through the eyes of a young child. Somehow I ended up with an abstract Ferris wheel – I’d been to the one in Santa Monica a few days before. I felt the joy a young child feels from the thrill of these sky-high adventures – when I put my mind to thinking of it this way, with guidance of Eileen. And I could not have been in need of this reminder more, for my personal life is a bit heavy right now, with a slow, draw out death of a family member lingering in the near future. It will help my writing too – that goes without saying! But I am a firm believer in the ALL THINGS ARE CONNECTED theory. Whatever helps your overall state of mind as a writer is key – a key to a happy, healthy writing life. So many writers of adult literature were tortured, why is that? If we write for kids, we need to feel the same joy they do – and BOY, DO KIDS FEEL JOY!! It is a basic NEED for them, almost a strong as their love for sugar;)
2) TRACY HOLCZER: shared two papers on “EFFECTIVE CHARACTER BIOS AND HOW TO DETERMINE THE HEROES PROBLEM/GOALS, ETC.” What is the inciting incident that begins the story? What happened previously to knock their world out of alignment? This is important back story – “baggage” that has affected the main character’s personality negatively. Some call this the character flaw, but I like Tracy’s way of putting it because she emphasizes that an event in the not too distant past has caused this. Think: the mother’s death in SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL.
3) JEAN PERRY: gave us “TECHNIQUES TO HELP IDENTIFY WORLD- CHARACTER-PLOT IN NOVELS.” She passed out highlighted passages – to isolate the various types of writing. World building writing is descriptive; character and plot are pretty clear. This was fascinating!
4) DEBORAH FLETCHER BLUM: discussed “ADVICE TO WRITING SELF” which included trusting your instincts.
All in all in was a great schmooze.
<<<<<<<<MARCH LOCATION is once again new and different>>>>>  
The next Hollywood schmooze will be MARCH 21st check the listserv for the new location.
Thanks and we look forward to seeing you!


  1. Thanks for the recap, Deborah! I had really wanted to attend this Schmooze and couldn't make it.

    Here is the writing tip I would have brought, that has most helped me: In a SCBWI Summer Conference master class taught by Linda Sue Park, she suggested we telescope our hands to our eyes (one hand to one eye, the other eye closed) in order to picture the best order in which action, dialogue, or maybe scene details are shown through our writing's "camera." Through writing we can only convey (and, as readers, perceive) one thing at a time, so what is the best order for all of that info to come across?

    When we asked Linda Sue Park questions, we could see her sometimes putting her hand-camera to her eye in order to answer. Now when I write, I do it all the time.

    Would love to hear more tips! Keep 'em coming, folks! :D


  2. I do hope to come to one soon! Sorry I missed this one! Will try for March. :)