Critique

It's Saturday, and I just finished reading the written portion of my fiction critique from Wednesday. 

I saved this joy for today, looking forward to poring over the words that my classmates spent time on in order to help me refine my work.

On Wednesday, I wore my red high heels (changing into them right before class, in the classroom) and my London dress. 

A first draft, even a good, somewhat revised one, is still a first draft. It is called a first draft until after you have taken your hands off of it completely, like in chess, when your move ends. 

Now, when I begin to work on the story of Susanne, Janelle and Glenda once more, it will be the second draft. Often, the second draft is where you start to see the magic.

My fiction class liked my story, so they said. They talked about it for half an hour, without awkward pauses, or focus on small or insignificant things. They paid me an honor, as a writer, that I greatly appreciated. The whole thing humbled me. 

This class is one time when I will have a host of readers at my disposal. Who knows if an experience like this will ever come again? I will always be a writer, and I will always seek the advice of people, many through email or over the phone. But there will likely never be anything quite like this.

This weekend, I am supposed to get started on a draft of a new story. A new piece of fiction which no one has ever seen or read before. To do this, I must fall in love with new characters, I must retreat into imagination. I must create.

It's a good thing this weekend isn't terribly busy.

Before the workshop closed for comments on Wednesday, Professor Housholder, always eloquent, said: "Our author has dressed up for this today, do we have anything else to say to her?"

As I read the words of encouragement, finding small, helpful things to fix and larger, more abstract ideas to think about which might change everything. As I realized that many of these people had paid more careful attention to the point of view that I was using from scene to scene than I had, I couldn't help but think that I'm really glad that I came to college, specifically here, to this class...

I had the chance to meet with a good friend yesterday. She was my Foundations of Christian Thought discussion group leader and the witness to my comment that I had not planned or desired college, but that I wanted to be Hemingway (who I don't even particularly like) and write in Paris. Yesterday, I told her that I was glad that God had other ideas.