Many folks here in OZ (and elsewhere around the world too) would like contact with US agents. Well here is your chance to touch base with an agent who can also help you develop your writing and it is with the terrrific Mark McVeigh. I have met Mark a number of times in the USA and we have always got on really well. He is already running his first webinar and has more to come. He has been a great SCBWI supporter in his publishing career. So read on to find out more about his first webinar:
CREATING REAL PEOPLE IN PROSE: Characterization and the Young Adult Novel A 90-minute Interactive Webinar
This class will be conducted using a web-hosting site that is free and very user friendly, requiring no additional software or knowledge: you just click on a link and you’re in the class. Attendees can see and hear me–and I can hear them– using the free website, the built in VOiP audio, or a free conference call number I will provide.
PART 1: PRE-WEBINAR: Reading assignment. (To be done on your own time, pre-webinar) I will assign a short middle grade novel (available in paperback) to read. In advance of class, I will e-mail a reader’s guide to the book with page number/ notes to mark examples of good writing that shows us who the characters are, and how the author created them. This will be used as discussion material for part of the webinar.
PART 2: WEBINAR: 90 minutes, at a to-be-determined time that works for all participants. There will never be more than ten people per webinar.
Intro: CHARACTERS ARE THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF NARRATIVE: A brief discussion of how character is the key to all books–if you grow them thoughtfully, the story will spring up around them.
I. GREAT CHARACTERS AND HOW THE AUTHOR MADE THEM COME TO LIFE: Using the assigned reading, I’ll examine techniques the author used to create character and how it supported the story arc and themes of the book.
II. HOW TO BUILD/ CREATE/ IMAGINE/ WRITE YOUR OWN REALISTIC CHARACTERS: A series of writing exercises for building a main character and secondary characters, together, create the world in which your story will take place.
III. A LOOK AT CURRENT MIDDLE GRADE BEST-SELLERS: I’d go over several currently popular, well written middle grade novels–many of which depend on a hook or concept–and how, despite the trends, they all start with great characters. (As part of post-webinar e-mail I will include a reading list.
IV. QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION: 20-30 minutes for questions and answers.
PART 3: POST-WEBINAR: Writing assignment: I will assign a “character development” exercise: a one page written piece about an original character. Participants would be encouraged to use the techniques discussed in the class. Written Critique/ Skype or Phone Discussion: Every participant would get a written commentary on the assignment and a follow-up 15 minute one-on-one skype chat to discuss, ask questions.
FEE/ FUTURE CLASSES: The fee would be $120 US, payable via PayPal in advance of class (10% of the gross from these webinars is being donated to the Paula Danziger Fund at SCBWI.) Classes are small–ten people or less. In future there are plans for a webinar on picture books. – as Mark says …. having spent four years working daily with Maurice Sendak, everything I know about picture books comes directly from the master!
More on the Carolinas later but Pam Vaughan (official photographer for the New England conference last weekend) has just sent me oodles and poodles of photos … so if you don’t want to see piccies of me in action – then look away now! There are photos of me with friends, of me panelling, photos […]