Today's class focused on peer revisions of our works in progress. I'm discovering that being a writer is a bit like walking around with an open wound. I've always found writing to be a cathartic experience but I often feel like I leave more of myself on the page than is socially acceptable. Sending parts of one's soul out into the ether to be received however it may be is scary and vulnerable business, but as I stated earlier, I'm no longer interested in the agony of holding the untold stories inside me.
So, I write, and I try to let go of the idea that everyone is going to like it or understand it or care about it. But, since I want to improve my craft, I must allow constructive criticism be my refining fire, as uncomfortable as it may initially seem.
I will say that my classmates were gracious today, intermixing the parts of my story that they appreciated with specific ways to improve the content and cohesiveness of the chapter. The main ideas that I took away from today's session were as follows:
*Try to arrive at the action a little sooner and don't get so caught up in the description
*Resist the urge to fall into clichéd characters and remember try to create more nuances within their personalities - no one is ALL good or ALL bad
*Think of a chapter as a circle so try to complete it by tying the end back to the beginning
*Give more detail to my main character's current state of affairs
*I showed strengths in imagery and dialogue
*The audience was curious to find out more
I'm excited to revise through a new set of lenses and see where the story goes. Now, on to this week's stats...
What am I currently working on?
This week I wrote the first chapter of a book about a woman who had come to a place in her life where everything she thought was going to happen has faded from her view. She is facing a different reality than she had envisioned and planned her life around and she must reconcile her past in order to start again. Word Count: 1853
I also finished part two of my Disgruntled Elf story. Word Count: 1822
Today I got an idea for a poem so I plan on working on that once the kids go to bed!
How do I feel about the process?
I'm feeling good! I'm finding myself more inspired to write the more disciplined I am to write a little each day. I'm actually having a hard time making sure I don't neglect other commitments because I'd rather spend more time being creative.
What am I currently reading?
Unfortunately, a whole lotta nada...unless bedtime stories count. Between the assigned readings for my classes and everyday life, recreational reading has been relegated to the back burner. I am, however, INCREDIBLY inspired by the talented ramblings of my classmates. I am soaking up their creativity and courage to lay their vulnerability on the line. This class is seriously good for my soul!