I went away on holidays so I missed class number 2 of the workshop and didn’t get to experience the “share your writing with the class” experience as a listener…instead, I had to jump in cold.
I had written something that was the right length already before I went away but as my slot (last Monday) was drawing near, I realised that I wasn’t happy with it.
At the 11th hour (as always), which reminded me of my school days, I wrote something new, still part of the same story that is circling around my head at the moment. I made no revision to it, I just poured out 2055 words, formatted them and printed 10 copies to share in class.
There were 3 of us reading that night and as I was the first one to get there, I got to pick when. I chose to go second. I wanted to see how it was going to happen before going and I didn’t want to be last. I am still happy with my decision.
It was still nerve racking though. As I mentioned before, most of my classmates (if I can call them that) tend to be more literary than me. Their writing sound serious and their language is very elaborate, lots of imagery. I think I am the only one who is going for a more pop culture genre. As a non native English speaker, my language is not as evolve, despite my fluency or maybe it is because I am more an action person than a long, evocative description type of girl (must I remind you? I hated Flaubert!)… However, according to my peers and lecturer, I had got the tension right…apparently they couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next 🙂
So I got through my reading, stumbling a bit a long the way as I hit passages that didn’t flow right or made sense when I wrote them but didn’t as I read them…the biggest problem I seem to have is to do with tone (inconsistently shifting between funny and scary – I have to pick one) and language issues when my character speaks…apparently she sounds like she is not native English…now here’s a surprise 🙂 They suggested that I made my character a non-native English speaker…which I will consider actually.
I also wrote a dog in my scene…I saw a sad YouTube video from animal rescue team in California saving a pitbull and it made me really sad to see an animal to have been treated this way, so somehow it made it’s way in my scene. It wasn’t something I had planned or thought about. It’s amazing how much attention my dog got 🙂 Howard, our tutor, loved him (Apollo I called him) whereas some people thought he got too much limelight… Funny the things that will get people talking! I was worried that the fact that I had my character staring at a naked man’s crotch would get more comments and yet, the dog stole the show 🙂
I am glad for the experience, and all the annoted copies were returned to me so I can go over everyone’s comments when it’s a little less raw (not that I was upset with anything they said). I will take some on board for sure.
As I had expected though, the two other girls were a lot more lyrical in their writing and serious in their choice of subject.