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Where does the time fly?

I've been meaning to post to this for a while. I'd be busy doing something and look up and see it was already past midnight, so I'd say "I'll update tomorrow night". Of course, I didn't. . .


Anyway, Classes are going pretty well, but as I anticipated, they're eating into my writing time. However, it looks like the course work is going to be manageable, so hopefully in a week or so, I'll be back to writing almost every night. My "Intro to Fiction" instructor agrees with me that the writer of our textbook is a literary fiction snob (I also note his credits are he's an editor who writes textbooks. As far as I can see, he's never written a lick of published fiction. Go figure.) She enjoys all kinds of short stories, but some of my classmates are definitely much more "literary-oriented" than me. It's interesting, there's only six of us in the class. I'm the genre-reader, two are more into "mainstream" or "literary" fiction and three are in the class only to get the English credit. It makes the class go much faster when there's only three of us contributing to the classroom lectures.

My "Creative Writing" class started out pretty well. Even though, my instructor there is more of a poet/screenwriter than a fiction writer, the class itself shows much potential. We had to write the "introductory" paragraph to a short story we're going to be writing for class. Some of the paragraphs were VERY good and people were very good about giving (and receiving) critiques. Obviously, it's hard to say what's going to happen, since all we've seen is a paragraph, but we talked for a bit about where we were going with the stories, and we gave each other suggestions/advice about their plots as well. A very enjoyable class.

Speaking of critiques, the Writers' Octave group I'm a member of met again this past Friday night. I had a short story I'm thinking about submitting to F&SF or some other magazines and got some very good critique on it. Four of the members were going to give me a red-line critique, so I'm waiting to see what their thoughts/ideas are. Luckily, most of them seemed to enjoy the story, which I'm taking as a good sign.

As you've probably heard from others, the East Coast finally got some snow. I think we had about 14 inches, give or take. Nothing too serious and wishweaver and I dug out the driveway and sidewalks pretty easily. Still, it's amazing how something so light and fluffy can get so darn heavy on the end of a shovel.

Haven't done much writing on Chronicles lately. Between school work and editing/rewriting The Demon's Head, that's been most of my writing emphasis. Hopefully, this week will go a little better.

I'll post information about Farpoint (and other conventions) in the next entry.


( 2 howls — Howl with the Pack )
Feb. 13th, 2006 09:30 am (UTC)
What's the textbook.
Of all the writers on writing I've ever read, the only ones who were really worthwhile were:

Orson Scott Card's Writers Digest books
Dwight Swain "Techniques of the Selling Author", and his book on character,
Robert McKee "Story"
Feb. 13th, 2006 02:43 pm (UTC)
The Bedford Introduction to Literature by Michael Meyer

It doesn't have a bad selection of short stories. Like any collection, some of them are pretty good, some are O.K. and some are downright painful to read -- not because they're bad stories, just not stuff I'd read given my own personal tastes. It might not be a "bad" book if the author could quit editorializing about how superior literary fiction was to genre.

He gave us a nice excerpt from E.R. Burroughs's Tarzan the Ape Man, pointing out things Burroughs did right and some places where he took the reader out of the story because he felt the need to explain exactly why Tarzan was different from the other explorers (for example). The trouble is, right after he did a fairly even review of the story, then he turns around and makes some snide comment about it not being a bad piece for a formulaic action writer who's more interested in getting you interested in the story rather than making you interested in what Tarzan stands for or his internal struggles. It's those types of backhanded compliments that raise my hackles.

Luckily, the teacher doesn't agree with the author's pontificating. She's using the book for the short stories, not the accompanying commentary.

Apparently the Bedford series is very popular in colleges these days (My English Composition I class had us using the Bedford Guide to Grammar.) It's just one of those things I'll have to put up with this class.
( 2 howls — Howl with the Pack )

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