It’s always interesting to see what I find when I clean my office.

From World Fantasy Convention last year, a scrap of paper with notes from a panel on Dark Fantasy for Kids:

“Fantasy is good versus evil. Horror is evil versus good.” –Nancy Springer

“People hurt me… No book ever hurt me in any way, shape, or form.” –Nancy Springer

“It depends how they die–it depends what goes forward.” –Garth Nix

“In dark fantasy there might not be a happily ever after, but there is an ever after.” –Garth Nix

And another scrap from a panel on writing dark cultures (don’t remember who spoke on this one):

In a dark culture, the fear is of not conforming to the culture, of falling through the cracks.

In a dark story, ask, “How did we get here?” At some point we must have thought this was a good thing.

Two ways of bringing out the darkness of a dark world: Have an insider speak out from within; have an outsider show up and speak.

Reading about times darker than our own gives us hope.

From SCBWI New York:

“As a kid I was always a big fan of popup books, and trying to get inside them, which meant they never lasted long.” –David McCauley

“Drawing for me is a way of understanding things. I keep drawing until I understand.” –David McCauley

“I don’t know why they’re not made of transparent materials, because it’d be really fun to watch.” –David McCauley on water sprinklers

“We never lose who we were, we only gain who we are becoming.” –James Howe

“The ages we write for are less important than the ages we right from.” –James Howe

“Writers don’t write themes, but they have them.” –James Howe

“I believe one becomes a professional writer when one writes for strangers.” –Avi

“Never confuse the clarity of the end product with the muddle of creation.” –Avi

From my story files:

“My real parents would let me have ice cream for dinner.
My real parents would let me find out if hamsters can swim
And if goldfish can fly
And if bears prefer the washer or the dryer.
My real parents would let me dance outside
By the light of the moon
In my underwear
If I really wanted.”

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