16 May 2012

Recap: Figment's Chat w/ Maggie Stiefvater and Lucy Christopher

Figment presents...

Maggie Stiefvater & Lucy Christopher

Yesterday, May 15, Figment held a live chat with authors Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races) and Lucy Christopher (Stolen).  It was an awesome event, though I knew a lot of the information given because I follow both authors.  I found out a lot of cool, random info!

Things I Learned at Figment (that fateful night):

A list by Amelia Robinson

  • The first line in Shiver is one Maggie Stiefvater had had in a dream.  It remained unchanged.
  • Lucy Christopher got the first line to her novel, Stolen, while driving home one day.  She rushed home to start writing the story behind "You saw me before I saw you."  The first line also remained unchanged.
  • For Maggie, all the magic happens (understanding character motivations, etc.) at the 10,000 word mark.
  • Both authors say they need to know the character arc or what a character learns before they really get started on a book.
  • The fact that Margaret Atwood can't spell very well gives Lucy comfort.  (This phrase has been put in consideration for a Figment t-shirt design.)
  • Lucy sometimes bases her character voices on people she knows.  For instance, Ty from Stolen is a culmination of a bunch of Aussie boys she'd met at some point in her life.
  • Maggie steals from other people all the time.  She likes picking up turns of phrase and motivations.  She listens to speech patterns.
  • Maggie Stiefvater is a self-proclaimed eavesdropper.
  • Lucy likes to steal body language more than actual voices from those around here.
  • Maggie Stiefvater warns you not to sit next to her on an airplane, for fear she will steal your voice.
On tools for creating voice...
  • Maggie and Lucy both read their books out loud, though this is a new thing for Maggie, who started because she was intrigued at hearing the Shiver trilogy narrated.
    • Lucy Christopher loves the Shiver audiobooks.
  • Lucy reads out loud mostly to check whether her punctuation is right where it ought to be.
And finally...
  • Maggie Stiefvater hates character charts.

The chat was highly entertaining (despite the fact Maggie wasn't answering any questions about surviving zombie attacks).  It was a great experience!  The only thing I regret is that it all seemed a bit superficial, like we were just scratching the surface.  I really wish we had gotten deeper into their stories and writing processes.  But that info can be found on their respective blogs.