Thursday, August 14, 2008
Following that elephant around
I'm taking an online fiction writing class and I'm beginning to think that my dead brain cells count is much higher than previously thought. The format for our class is: write 2500 words, submit them to the class where a critique is provided on all the usual elements of writing and then it's off to try and absorb the high points of the discussion to make the passage better.
The story that I'm working on (and submitting for class) is a time travel, with a heavy element of fantasy but no demons or werewolves. I have the plot outlined where it makes sense, there are no holes that I can see so far and I'm keeping all of the characters' goals, motivation and conflicts in mind. So when the instructor or my classmates ask a question about my passage that I know is or will be answered in time, I don't panic. It actually makes me feel that I've built up the suspense for that passage properly so that it's the logical question in the reader's mind. I want them to keep reading, you know.
But here's my torment about my class. I'm not getting slammed for the writing--style or voice or my overly long, Dylan Thomas-esque sentences. I'm getting hammered because I am too stupid to put a comma in the right place and my paragraphing stinks. I'm sure that has become apparent from the way this post is blocked, so hopefully you can see my problem and sympathize with my pain.
Well, it's off to Borders to buy Eat, Shoots and Leaves and to look for my copy of the Elements of Style.