Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What I Learned from ENG 561: Genre Study in the Craft of Writing for Children: Fantasy

  • Fantasy has subgenres. Before this class, I’d never even heard of subgenres.
  • Fantasy is the “genre ghetto.” If you write fantasy, all the “real” authors will forever consider you to be beneath them.
  • Same goes for writing for kids. Adult authors might even ask, “So when are you going to start writing real books?”
  • Every writer should try using plot-point outlines. You might love them (like me) or you might not.
  • Never be afraid to take a chance on a “crazy” idea.
  • It’s okay to be dissatisfied with your 1st draft. And your 2nd. And your . . . 5th.
  • Revision is BY FAR harder than writing.
  • You’re allowed to steal ideas. You heard me. Writers steal ideas ALL THE TIME.
  • You can write stories based on folktales, fairytales, poems, or songs without being guilty of copyright violation. An original re-telling of Hansel and Gretel would be completely legal.
  • In fact, old tales, ballads, and such are great writing prompts (i.e. Ellen Kushner’s Thomas the Rhymer).

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