Happy Birthday, Sarah Rees Brennan, born 21 September 1983
- Real life is sometimes boring, rarely conclusive and boy, does the dialogue need work.
- I write a chapter plan, constructing plot with several helpful critique partners, and I try to follow it. I think the hardest part of writing a novel is the middle part, where you don’t remember why you started and can’t imagine how you’re going to finish.
- Before I was published, I really had no idea what being published entailed: how suddenly I would have to learn, and come to care passionately about, covers and distributions and awards and what hills to die on when you’re editing and how to coax marketing departments and promotional items, and so much else I never dreamed of. It’s like a life-long apprenticeship: you keep on learning. Be ready for the learning!
- Write what you want to read. Real enthusiasm sets other people on fire too – and that creates trends.
- Think about what your characters want, and what they’re going to get.
- Read, a huge amount, and everything you can lay your hands on, in your genre and out.
- I have a sort of nebulous audience! A mythical, magical THEY who never really bear any resemblance to the readers I actually have. But I sit there cackling and going ‘THEY will be so upset’ and ‘I hope THEY love this part like I do!’
- Find writers who write what you write, with what you feel is a similar sensibility – find out who their agents are (it’ll be in the back of their books) and submit to them!
- Horrible things often happen in children’s fiction. Parents have about the same life expectancy as a little piggy in a straw house. But children’s fiction is a genre with a lot of hope in it, a promise of resilience, and in the end, I hold with neither fire nor ice. I am a sucker for a happy ending.
Sarah Rees Brennan is an Irish writer. She is best known for young-adult fantasy fiction. She is the author of The Lynburn Legacy series, including Unspoken and The Demon’s Lexicon series.
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