A staggering amount of my degree classes are workshops, and though I’m through most of them, I still can’t get used to having a group of twelve people discuss my writing on a detailed level. I would like to think, by now, I’d be able to judge how a story would go. Alas, no.
Earlier today I had my short story “Fortune Cookies” workshopped, my first fiction in about a year. I was terrified because it’s a complete linguistic shift from how I normally construct prose, heavier on metaphor. But the class’s comments were mostly positive, but I wonder if that’s because I followed a story where a dog bites off part of a guy’s ass. Some samples:
- This is a beautiful and fresh look at an old concept. It could use a tad more grounding, but is fine without it.
- Prose was beautiful. Very, very good writing. But there seems to be very little actual plot…what is this story really about?
- I loved how you portrayed space. The idea of it being so welcoming to a tormented girl – a quiet escape.
- Cool. Enjoyed it.
But of course you can’t please everyone:
- I don’t think this is your strong suit…it sounds like the script for a bad anime. I’m also not a fan of excessive flashbacks.
- Gee, let’s pile on some more stereotypes, shall we?
- If you’re going for romance then you’ve done a fine job of capturing that sort of sentimentality.
The professor liked it, though. Which, I think, is a good sign.
In general, I’ve definitely got to clear up some of the story’s timing issues and play around with a few plot points, but I think I have a solid start. We’ll see!