Monday, July 14, 2008

Athletic Sex in Gotham

Let me start by apologizing to all the people who've come here recently after searching for "athletic sex" or even "crazy athletic sex" and found only this post. I assume you didn't find what you were hoping for, and I apologize for wasting your time.

Thinking of writing and wasting or not wasting time, I thought I'd post a quick review of the first week of the Gotham Writers Workshop in which I'm participating this summer. First of all, I am enjoying the online class experience. The first "lecture" didn't knock my socks off (reading the lectures will take some getting used to) but I enjoy the Blackboard functionality, and this is my first experience with it as a student (rather than as a marketeer educating sales reps and demonstrating educational products directly to customers). Second, I like the other students (at least, what I know of them so far) and think they'll be a great group to work with. I look forward to reading their pieces and getting to know them a bit more.

I like the deadlines and accountability, and I'm using the weekly homework assignments (which go just to the instructor) to work on a short story featuring the same main characters as my novel-in-progress. I'm using the first two chapters of the novel as my two big class workshop pieces.

I haven't gotten instructor feedback yet, but most of my student colleagues have weighed in on my first chapter. Unfortunately, many of them didn't follow the detailed critique directions (including the directive to post some unique praise or criticism!). On the (huge!) plus side, they loved it! Most of the feedback has been glowing. Which makes me happy and motivated and might be worth the price of the class right there.

Deadlines/accountability + positive response to work = happily writing Sarahlynn.

The first and second people to respond talked about my opening scene, which has been driving me crazy and I couldn't figure out how to fix. After reading their comments, I had a big CLICK moment and I knew what to do. Yippee. I just wish some of the subsequent commenters had focused on other weaknesses in the work; I know there must be some!

(On the other hand, they loved it! They loved specific things about it! The had really flattering things to say about the writing, dialogue, pacing, mystery elements, and characters. Have I mentioned how great this feels?)

Now when the instructor weighs in with some more detailed critique, I'll be bolstered, ready, and eager to hear it. Hit me.

So far, so good.

2 comments:

  1. I am not at all surprised to hear it! Hoorah for you!

    And boo for me. I know. Chapter 2. Maybe I need some of that accountability stuff. Sigh. In my defense...I've got the kids full-time now and I'm actually getting nearly a full-time load of paying work, too. Still...I owe you. I know it!

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  2. Thanks, PK, and do not feel bad about Chapter 2! I barely have time to think with both of my kids home full-time this summer, and I have Paul around to do a lot of the heavy lifting, plus I'm not trying to do a career thing on top of it all somehow.

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