Conference Challenge #6 – Famous Quotes

A day late and a dollar short.

That’s what this post is. Sorry for missing the usual Wednesday Conference Challenge, friends. But, I’m back and ready to roll. I can just hear that huge sigh of relief.

Or not.

So, I was scratching my head thinking about what challenge I could put out to you this week. I first thought of having everyone write a synopsis for a work in progress or a future one. I am laboring over one now and thought it would be a great exercise. But, then again, so is planking…

…and I’m not about to ask you to do that.

Then my mind kept turning over the opening quote. “A day late and a dollar short.” Much like other famous quotes, it’s a loaded one and can mean so much. That’s why they are popular. And then I wondered what it would be like to have this as an opening line to a novel. Who would be the character saying this and what would their situation be? It could go from tragic to comic. And really, couldn’t this be said about a lot of popular quotes?

And that’s when the proverbial lightbulb went off.

Your challenge this week is to take a famous quote, use it as a first line and then write two openings to a novel or short story. One should be serious and dark, the other lighthearted and humorous. They don’t have to be a whole page. Use any quote taken from anywhere – music, literature, popular culture – and have at it. Let your imagination go and your fingers fly.

Illustrator Challenge #6 – Famous Quotes

I haven’t forgotten my illustrator friends, at least not this week! First let me apologize for not initially having a challenge for week four. I have rectified that.

Your challenge this week is pretty much the same as for the writers. Using a popular quote as a book title, draw two covers depicting the story first as serious and then lighthearted.

Here are a couple of websites to help you mine for quotes:

Famous Quotes and Authors

Popular Quotes – Brainy Quote

Hope you enjoy the challenge. If not…well that’s what you get when you give me a keyboard and let me think! You have now been warned!

Conference Challenge #1 – Voice or Point of View?

Conference Challenge #2 – Why do you love it?

Conference Challeng #3 – Give yourself a WooHoo!

Conference Challenge #4 – Speed Plotting

Conference Challenge #5: The Reverse Book Trailer

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About Susan Mannix

Susan worked as a biomedical research editor for the Department of the Navy for fourteen years and has been a member of SCBWI since 2007. She writes young adult and middle grade novels. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time doing all things horses, including attending her teenaged daughters’ many competitions. Susan lives in Maryland on a small farm with her husband, two children, an adorable black lab, two cats, and three horses.
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8 Responses to Conference Challenge #6 – Famous Quotes

  1. Sue Poduska says:

    One of my dad’s favorite sayings was “Don’t take any wooden nickels.” Dad was a worrier, so saying this in parting was his way of telling us to be careful out there. As an adult, my daughter now says this.

    I did a beginning of a YA novel where a high school student is sorry she didn’t think of this in accepting help from the class bitch.

    Next, I did a beginning for a MG story about a boy at the beach who discovers fun through the local carnies. One of the throw away prizes at a game is an actual wooden nickel.

    Fun exercise.

  2. Pingback: Conference Challenge #7: Happy Active 4th of July! « As the Eraser Burns

  3. Yay! I’m still a Rock Star! I’m all caught up on the challenges 🙂 I’ll post my response to challenge #6 on my blog tomorrow (and I promise I’ll come link to it here). For now, I’m letting my story pencils take a little bit of a break.

  4. Pingback: Conference Challenge #8: Prepare for a Successful Conference! « As the Eraser Burns

  5. Arlene Finocchiaro says:

    Since my focus is writing picture books, I tweaked the challenge a bit and wrote a whole story based on Gelett Burgess famous poem about a purple cow. The quote really got me off and running–and mooing.

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  7. Miranda McClain says:

    I used the cheesy yet classic “There’s no place like home”. One about some one running from a terrible past and the other about a mother who always bakes her families favorite cookies when they come visit.
    Hooray I finished all 8 challenges! Now I’m off to pack!

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