Friday, 7 November 2014

Scott Westerfeld Signing | November 5, 2014

Hi everyone. I hope that this post finds you well. Earlier this week, I was incredibly lucky enough to attend a book signing of one of my favorite authors: Scott Westerfeld. I grew up on the uglies series right around the same time Harry Potter was ending for me and it was really awesome to meet him because I have loved his books for so long. I only learned recently that he speaks a lot for NaNoWriMo and I'm participating this year so that was incredibly exciting as well.

My lovely friend Jules saved me a front row seat, so I was actually the first person to get my large stack of books signed. The girl next to me wasn't getting any signed but she helped take a few from my pile to get signed to ensure that every book was signed, so thank you!!

Scott spoke at length about Uglies and how that series came about, but then he started to explain Afterworlds. He mentioned that it was quite different from what he had done before, because he had two narratives going on at once and he had to balance it. 

He gave a lot of writing advice which listen up NaNo's!! This might be helpful.. ;) He said that ideas come from your life, all around you, hitting you in every direction and sometimes writing is the answer to where your ideas come from. You can still very much embody two worlds using ideas from your life. With Afterworlds, he was basically recreating the feeling of the writer, writing a book and then there was the parallel fantasy world, the world of the other story and you have to juggle both stories in conversation with each other. His biggest advice was to simply finish everything because often times, stories start off really good and then they go badly, and that is simply because there are so many ideas that people don't know what final direction to take them in. He said to simply finish it, even if you don't think its going anywhere good. You can turn it into a first drive. It is hard even when you think it isn't great, but he recommends you finish simply to get the experience of rounding something out and saying that it is as good as it can be! So, even though NaNoWriMo seems basically impossible, you just keep trekking along and finish. 

Also he said simply "kill your darlings" - he means the sentences that you are often really proud of, get rid of them because they come from YOU as a person and not really your character and it becomes your voice and not your characters. I especially love this piece of advice because I'm writing about myself, so it's hard, but it becomes a point where I'm writing as me now, a twenty four year old me, as opposed to the seventeen year old me, the story is actually about! 

Overall, Scott offered amazing writing advice and he was incredibly charming and answered a ton of audience questions. I can't wait to start reading Afterworlds and quite honestly, I want to marathon all of his books at some point! I had an amazing time, so well done for another great event Chapters/Indigo Green Room! :D 

Have you read Afterworlds? Let me know in the comments below what you thought of it! 

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