Wherein I share and elucidate the mysteries revealed unto me whilst attending the Writing Track at JordanCon 2011.
The main panelists for the writing track were Guest of Honor David B. Coe, Eugie Foster, Jana Oliver, and Brandon Sanderson. (The details of who taught what are in my blow-by-blow account linked above.) Attending the writing track was definitely valuable for me, as an aspiring fantasy author. But what was surprising, in some ways, was how little I learned about the craft of writing as compared to what else I learned by attending these panels.
Which is not to say I didn’t learn quite a lot about writing during these panels. I suppose I was expecting to learn more about the craft. But what I did learn, I believe, will be enough to push me up another level – or so I hope. But let me save the big, revelatory take-aways for the end, and let’s start with an account of what I learned along the way. Which is a long account, so expect this to go on for several posts – this is considerably more detailed and thorough than my pictorial blow-by-blow.
Writing for Younger Readers
The first bit of craft advice I learned when I ducked into the Writing for Young Readers panel a little late. The panelists agreed that you should write your protagonist at an age one or two years older than your target audience – specifically when targeting younger readers. This is because younger readers are aspirational – they are interested in what people older than they are think and do. However, the older YA readers tend to read more and more like adults, so the lines get blurred considerably. They also pointed out that mushy stuff like romance: kids totally go in for that, whatever you may think. Yes, even the boys. Continue reading