I finished my writing class a few weeks ago. On the whole I found Fiction 2 very helpful. I thought my teacher did a really great job at teaching us how to move a story forward. I think it was a good decision for my to take this class, though I am opting to not take a class this semester. I may take one again in the fall, but I know my free time is lacking over the next few months, and I am loving working with my informal writing group consisting of women I met in class.
I’m working on rewrites of my novel. I’m about halfway through, and the biggest thing I’ve realized is that I need to listen to my gut feelings about things. Getting feedback from readers is extremely valuable, but sometimes it’s not always advisable to make the corrections they think you need. Sometimes, their opinion is based on their particular life circumstances. When receiving feedback you need to really disseminate the helpful form the not so helpful. For example, when I presented work to Fiction 1 class, they gave me suggestions. When I incorporated the suggestions and presented it to Fiction 2, their critique was that I should have done it differently (more like the way I originally did it) Maybe my first draft wasn’t well written, but the idea behind it was solid. I just needed to rework my idea.
I have learned that I have a very macro approach to work. It’s most noticeable when I critique my writing group works. I’m finding that I’m clearly focusing on the arc of a work- looking for the beginning, middle and end. I’m more focused on making sure the characters have credible growth or non growth throughout the work. I am less focused on the micro aspects when I’m first reading. In my mind, the outline has to be solid before you start focusing on sentences and word choice. I’ve seen people write beautiful sequences, but they have no rhyme or reason as a whole work. I’ve become to think of it as a writer writes things, an author tells a story. I don’t know if this is right or wrong, I only know it’s how I feel.
My next bit of self discovery deals with emotions. Remember a few weeks ago I talked about how I’m a numbers girl trying to be a writing girl? Well, I notice that when I write I am stingy with emotion. I think that’s part of my analytic, logical gene poking through. I know I can be emotionless in many situations: I have to get past this when I’m writing, especially as I’m writing a love story. Love stories should include some sort of emotion.
On the advice of my writing teacher, I am waiting to look for an agent. He thinks I should have a solid second draft that includes all the plot holes I have discovered. I think he’s right, so that gets pushed off for at least two months.
And then there’s my blog, which I still love writing, and look forward to writing every day!
So get out there and write!!