Camp LiveGirl Meets Bestselling Author Lauren Oliver
The second day of Camp LiveGirl’s 2016 summer session was graced with the presence of New York Times bestselling author, Lauren Oliver. Lauren gave a presentation in the NCHS Auditorium to 100 enthusiastic LiveGirls who were bursting with questions for Lauren by the end of her presentation.
Lauren dove right into her backstory, explaining to the girls that she grew up in a house full of books which fostered her love of reading as a child. This took Lauren to her first tip of advice to the LiveGirls: read as much as humanly possible! Lauren was also kind enough to give every single camper a copy of her book Curiousity House, to encourage them to fill their free time with books instead of logging onto Instagram.
It was truly inspiring that Lauren was so honest about all of the ‘failed novels’ that she wrote before she published her first book, Before I Fall. However, Lauren emphasized that failure is an essential part of achieving success. This led perfectly into her second tip: do not fear failure! Failure is human, it is essential, Lauren said.
Lauren’s third and final lesson was to write everyday. Create stories, tap into your imagination. She urged the girls to get the ball rolling and to never give up on writing. As an author herself, she explained to the girls that she writes everyday; some is good material, some is not so great. But it is all apart of a larger process that comes with being a novelist.
After Lauren wrapped up her presentation, 20 LiveGirls were able to attend an intimate writing workshop taught by Lauren herself! In the next 45 minutes Lauren taught the girls the basic skills needed to write a novel. Creating a solid plotline was the main focus of this workshop, and this lesson was anchored by Lauren’s ‘golden rule’. The golden rule is a sentence in which the girls were able to fill in the blanks with their story’s main goal, the time frame and the consequence that comes if the goal is not achieved.
Lauren Oliver’s Golden Rule: The Main Character must (Goal or Desire) before (Time Limit or Ticking Clock) or else (Bad Consequence/ ‘Big Bad’)
To make this concept more understandable for the girls, Lauren used plotlines of Disney movies to demonstrate how that golden rule applies to all great stories.
The girls were eager to get their ideas down on paper and when they were asked to share their personalized plots, the LiveGirls’ hands shot up with excitement. Even Lauren was pleasantly surprised by the camper’s overwhelming participation in her workshop.The workshop finished off with Lauren signing the girl’s notebooks and taking photos with her gracious LiveGirl fans.
I was fortunate enough to talk to Lauren one-on-one and I was amazed to hear how much fulfillment Lauren gets from writing for young girls. “One of the greatest pleasures of my job is getting to connect with young people, young girls especially. It is very meaningful to me and I think that all books are a way of trying to communicate and in my case trying to inspire and to give hope to people who sometimes feel like they don’t have a lot of it.
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