Last week I attended the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. It was an amazing experience and I thought I’d share a little of what I learned.
· “Paradoxes are a truth standing on its head begging for attention” – Chesterton (from the Session on Imagery)
· Great art makes you feel humble. (more from imagery)
· “The way to paradoxes is the way of truth. To test reality we must see it on the tightrope.” – Oscar Wilde (also from Imagery)
· “Wherever two or three are gathered… there will be an argument” – Matt Ruff
· “Writing is one of those careers where many are called, but few are chosen.” – Matt Ruff
· “Trying to justify a story before it’s written is probably a waste of time” – Matt Ruff
· Start suspension of disbelief by suspending your own. – Matt Ruff
· Make real, flawed characters – Christa Parrish
· Don’t cater to the stereotypes – Christa Parrish
· If you’re a pain at night, and then you set the microwave on fire at 1:30 am, chances are you’ll get kicked out of the hotel (and if you don’t the angry lady in the room below yours will call the police) – fortunately I got to learn from someone else’s idiocy
· Picking up the phone will not stop the fire alarm from going off.
· A book needs to work on multiple levels. There needs to be the basic entertainment level, without it no one will want to read it. There should also be a deeper level that is there if the reader wants to see it – Joshilyn Jackson
· Ask yourself: How can I be more of the me that God wants me to be? – Joshilyn Jackson
· Love wins – Joshilyn Jackson
· Setting can be a character – Matt Ruff and Kathryn Davis
· “I like to do enough research that I know when I’m lying” – Matt Ruff (I think)
· “I let myself research, but I can’t write about something I don’t remember” – Kathryn Davis
· Don’t always write about what you know because you’re more honest and open that way – Michael Perry (I think)
· Always wear your boots. At some point something’s gonna go wrong and you’d better have your boots on. – Michael Perry
· “I became a writer because I was born baffled” – Parker Palmer
· Writing and reading are at their best an act of caring – Parker Palmer
· Most of us live lives of self-impersonation – Parker Palmer (Quoting someone else?)
· “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than others – Parker Palmer (Quoting someone else I think)
· Make them laugh. Make them cry. Make them wait. – Kate DiCamillo
· You compromise your beautiful novel the moment you begin to write it – Kate DiCamillo
· Make a cemetery file on your computer. Put the stuff that you love but can’t keep in that file so it’s still around and you don’t have to feel like it was unimportant. “Children of Divorce” Panel
· Write your story the way it needs to be written. The changes can be made in house later on – “Children of Divorce” Panel.
· “A dysfunctional family is a family with more than one person in it” – Mary Karr.