Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Miami 2019: Novel Intensive Agenda

Friday, January 18, 2019
With Cheryl Klein and Sarah Aronson
The Novel Revision Countdown. Join editor Cheryl Klein and novelist Sarah Aronson for this comprehensive day of lectures, discussion, analysis, and exercises that will help focus and clarify your next revision. During the day, you will learn more than a dozen practical and effective techniques to help you see every aspect of your novel afresh and know what you need to do next. Sarah and Cheryl will read first pages and offer time for questions and answers. BRING A MANUSCRIPT OR MANUSCRIPT IN PROGRESS WITH YOU TO WORK ON.

9:00 – 9:30 AM: Settling in, brief intros, turning in of first pages for critique. Meet Sarah and Cheryl and hear more about the process of revision and re-imagination—and how they are different.

9:30 – 10:30 AM: SARAH: The Importance of THEME: Are you ready to think big? To embrace the motivation behind your stories? To think about theme?

A strong theme is not just essential to a great story—it is the juice—the motivation to return to the manuscript and dig. Donald Maass, in The Fire in Fiction, calls theme “the underlying conviction that makes the words matter.” It is also the electricity that keeps us motivated to go back to our characters and story events and continue writing—even as expectations, disappointment, boredom, and ego challenge our senses of our selves.

In this lecture, Sarah Aronson will speak to the power of embracing theme as part of your writing process. She will show you how theme can help you tap into the three I’s of writing: inspiration, intellect, and intuition, and will offer tips and prompts to help you embrace theme in your writing and critical reading.

10:30 – 10:45 AM: Break

10:45 – Noon: CHERYL: 17 Revision Techniques. You’ve completed a first draft of your manuscript. What do you do next? In this fast-paced talk, you’ll get 17 practical techniques you can use to see your draft afresh, analyze its strengths and weaknesses, and implement necessary changes for an effective and excellent revision.

NOON – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 – 2:15 PM: CHERYL AND SARAH: Get ready to start putting Cheryl’s checklist into action. Sarah and Cheryl will offer exercises and time to do them that will help you uncover glimmers in your WIP.

2:15 – 2:30 PM: Break

2:30 – 3:15 PM: First Page Critiques*

3:15 – 4:00 PM: CHERYL AND SARAH: Q and A, plus a discussion on common habits and roadblocks. We will end with a discussion about how to protect your joyful heart during angry times (and so much social media). Last, we will talk about how to stay motivated and engaged in the processes of inspiration, intuition, and intellect.

*Bring a first page with no name on it if you would like a chance to have it critiqued in front of the group.