OK, so the highlight of this year’s Brisbane Writer’s Festival for me was today’s master class with Maggie Stiefvater (anyone who’s ready my Other Worlds blog knows how much I enjoy and appreciate her work).
Not just because it’s always exciting to meet a favourite writer (and find out she’s extremely likable in person), but because Maggie had some insightful and interesting things to say about writing and – in particular – how to get to the end of the story.
I’ve got a good idea of where I’m going with The Rephaim, but I’ll always jump at the chance to learn from experienced authors. I was keen to hear what Maggie had to say about plotting and delivering a story – especially over multiple books.
The two-hour session was choc-ful of great tips and advice. There were a lot I could relate to, and a few things I needed to be reminded about (e.g the importance of every setting having meaning in the story). But what resonated most with me was Maggie’s comment on knowing the “whatness” of a story. What is the core of the story? What am I trying to achieve? (And does every scene get me closer to achieving that? It’s a no-brainer when you think about it, but it’s easy to lose sight of that sometimes when bogged down in character and plot development.
For me, Maggie delivered the master class like a seasoned presenter – lots of energy, interesting, relevant content, plenty of humour, and some lovely insights into her own process and experiences as a writer. I’d go as far as to say it’s my favourite BWF session in the six years’ I’ve been going to the festival.
So, yes, I may have a book deal, but I’m still a geek fan at heart. 🙂