He gave some great writing advice:
- Every story should focus on two things: 1) what does my character want? and 2) what is getting in the way of the character getting what they want? An easy formula for writers to follow.
- He shared that he will frequently write up to 14 or 15 drafts like a screenplay before he ever starts a sketch for the graphic novel. I have a lot of students who want to sketch frequently during writing workshop; it was great for them to hear from this author that if you don't have a good, solid story, the pictures won't matter.
- Stephen said it is easier to rewrite words online than "rewrite" pictures.
- He stressed how important editing is in his process.
- One of my favorite lines: he told the classes that creativity is a muscle you make stronger by practice. What great advice for those students who don't feel like they have any creativity - they can work to achieve that creativity.
And if the Skype visit wasn't enough, Stephen also sent us a signed copy of everything he drew today so I can copy it for the kids AND he sent the first few chapters of the next Mal and Chad graphic novel. What a wonderful experience!! A huge thank you to Stephen McCranie for his generosity of time, talent, and writing wisdom!!