A number of conversations are going on around the web of note to Smackdowners:
HipWriterMama is discussing satisfying endings for stand-alone novels and series - check it out and put in your two cents.
Gail Carson Levine (new to blogging!) has written a thoughtful post on writing emotions in original, un-flat ways. Related: WordVessel did a series on How to Write Character Emotion that I found very interesting.
Darcy Pattison has begun a new series on 9 Ways of Looking at Plot. Some design by character and intuition, some by established patterns, some by the Snowflake Method. I think I'm an intuition gal - I get a kind of movie-trailer flash in my mind of the major arc of the story, which includes a few major plot points and the characters' emotional arcs. Generally speaking, I notice my plots can fit the pattern of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. Other people I know build from the ground up. Where do you fall?
Then check out the very interesting discussions about race and identity in YA lit over at Chasing Ray as a follow-up to the What a Girl Wants series. Are you "white"? Do you write blank slate characters with few or no cultural identifiers in an attempt to be universal? Then pay attention. I know I will.
And...stay tuned for tomorrow - a bona fide SRS Lash Flash ahead!