Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Novel Intensive Agenda (June 15, 2018)


Lisa Yee, Kait Feldmann, and Janice Hardy


9:00-9:30 a.m. All: Introductions

We’ll introduce ourselves and ask you to tell us your name, any pub history, and one line about what you want to get out of the workshop.

9:30-10:45 a.m. Janice and Lisa: Plotting and Outlining

Writing a novel can be a daunting process, but a little planning can go a long way to making that process easier. Even determining a few key turning points in the story can keep writers focused, whether they prefer to outline every scene or pick a story direction and write toward it. Here, you will learn tools to make the writing process easier — from beginning, middle and end. Plus, how to create the critical elements of a novel’s plot, how to use goals, conflicts, and stakes to build a story and develop characters, and how to approach a story in a way that will make it easier to write and be more marketable to agents, editors, and readers.

10:45-11:00 a.m. Break

11:00-noon Lisa: Character and POV

Creating a compelling protagonist . . . and antagonist. The success of your novel centers around the main character and their journey. Once we hone in on your protagonist we’ll focus on their conflict, whether it is a person, place or thing. Then, let’s explore how to you pick your POV to insure it’s the strongest one for the story you are telling.

Noon-1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00-2:00 p.m. Janice: Bringing Your Novel to Life

Great novels create characters readers love, settings they want to live in, and compelling stories they can’t put down. Learn how to tap into the emotions of the characters and use those emotions to drive the plot, deepen the story, and find what’s unique and fresh in your story to keep it from being predictable.

2:00-2:45 p.m. Kait: Kill Your Darlings: A DIY Guide to Editing Your Own Novel

Good writing is in the revising. We’ll take a look at how to revisit your manuscript with fresh eyes towards aspects like pacing and plot, character and dialogue, accuracy and authenticity.

2:45-3:00 p.m. Break

3:00-3:45 p.m. All: The Business of Writing

We’re in this industry for our love of books, reading, craft . . . but at the end of the day making books is a job and that means there are some not-so glamorous parts of it, too. Blargh! But not to worry, we’ve got you covered on query letters, working with an editor, plus practical tips on juggling your busy life with your writing life.

3:45-4:30 p.m. First Page Critiques

4:30-5:00 p.m. Q&A