Reading

Readergirlz Chat

Last night was the live readergirlz chat with Sharon M. Draper, author of Copper Sun, this month’s featured book.

I love the readergirlz chats, so much so that I’ve decided to attend even when I haven’t yet read the book–I am severely book-acquisition challenged, as you know. Hearing the author discuss his/her book, research (Sharon made three trips to Africa), the writing process (she gets up at 4 a.m., too), and what she craves for dinner (teriaki chicken) is always the highlight, but there’s more. Here are two morsels I especially loved last night:

JenFW:
How about plotting, Sharon? How do you build the different parts of your stories?

I’m always curious about plot-building. It’s kind of an impossible question to answer, but it’s a great topic to discuss when you can.

Sharon M. Draper:
Plotting is like braiding hair. It’s hard to do, and hard to explain, but the result is something complicated and beautiful if you do it right.

Oh, and Sharon can! We all loved the analogy. And then people began to build on that plot…


Melissa Walker:
I love the braiding analogy! I was trying to layer something today and that’s EXACTLY it!

Janet Lee Carey:
I think of it that way, too, and the thing about braiding is you’re always bringing the strand to the center each time. That’s the core of the scene.

Melissa Walker:
And the braiding makes the individual strands so much stronger and fully formed. Love it.

Poll:
Growing up I wore braids.
( 50% )
I did not wear braids.
( 0% )
I still do!
( 50% )

And there you have it: an example of idea/plot-building right there in a discussion of plot building, all starting with a lovely analogy from our featured author. It’s fun to hang out with people who think like this!

And then there was this segment, again spawned by one of Sharon’s comments.

Sharon M. Draper:
I don’t think there’s one I wished I’d written. I just look for books that make me hug them because theyare so good.

Janet Lee Carey:
HAB = Hug A Book

lizgallagher:
I think we should make “Hug a book!” the new readergirlz motto.

Little Willow:
I smell a picture-taking campaign of book-hugging!

JenFW:
So re-reading a book is REHAB?

Little Willow:
That’s a good thing there, JenFW! No 12 steps… just 12 chapters. HA.

No one gets mad when you make jokey comments in the background. A 12-chapter rehab program…I’m laughing all over again and imagining silly scenarios of such a thing–and building plots around them. How can you not want to hang out with a group of people who want to host a book-hugging photo fest?

Next month’s book is Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Grab a copy, read up, and join next month’s chat.

Of course, I don’t have Leviathan, so I’m reading Scott’s Peeps instead. Hey, at least I have one of his books. I’m a needleworker–I’m used to making substitutions.

Categories: Reading

7 replies »

  1. This is a lovely wrapup, Jen! And yes, thanks for encouraging everyone to drop in even when they haven’t read the book. Spot on! I’m going to link your article now at rgz. :~)

  2. Very nice. I definitely think that hugging a book is that way to go. In fact they should make it an international day: show your appreciation to books, give one a hug!

    Also the talk about creating a plot being like braiding is true. Often to any one watching (or having their hair braided), braiding can be boring, or confusing or even messy but the end result is something that everyone can enjoy looking at.

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