“Life is a great adventure.”
Basking in the presence of a wonderful author can be such an inspiring experience! You soak up a bit of their vibe, you feel their creative energy, and you absorb a little of the persistence you know they must have had to keep writing until they succeeded. Thanks to my wonderful friend and writing buddy, Nancy, I had a chance to do just that. Our town of Montclair was hosting a much-heralded event: The Montclair Film Festival — and Nancy and I caught the premiere of Tiger Eyes, an absolutely beautiful film made by Larry Blume, author Judy Blume’s son, from her book of the same name.
After the film showing, there was a Q&A with Larry and Judy. They talked about the fact that Tiger Eyes was written in the early ‘80s and that it had taken 30 years to create a film version. Judy talk about the fact that most of her books are very internally focused and how challenging it was to transform her story into a visual experience.
After hearing her speak, I visited Judy’s Web site, which is full of writing advice:
“The best books come from someplace deep inside. You don’t write because you want to, but because you have to. Become emotionally involved. If you don’t care about your characters, your readers won’t either.”
Before she begins writing a draft, Judy fills a notebook by jotting down anything that “pops into her head,” from bits of dialogue to major scenes.
She strongly suggests reading work aloud. It’s the best way to cut unneeded words and sharpen up dialogue.
Judy has written almost 30 books, sold 80 million copies, and been translated into 30 languages. Every year she receives some 1000 letters from loyal fans who love her work and want to know more about writing. Her Web site is fun and friendly — you can see that it’s designed to encourage kids to enjoy reading and writing. But what really shines through is Judy’s sense of fun and friendliness. There’s a warm approachable way about her that’s very winsome. For more writing tips, check out JudyBlume.com. There’ you’ll find a section called “On Writing” and a short downloadable pdf of practical advice.