I’ve done workshops before in college, in writing groups. This time, however, something seems to be different. The class I’m taking is called the Advanced Writing Seminar, and its the most dedicated writing students who are willing to brave a late-night class to work throughout the semester to better their writing. Perhaps that’s why I’m so nervous? I submitted a short story set in a super-hero setting and for the very first time, my stomach was twisting. I was pretty sure that I had created an absolute piece of dreck.
Now, I know that those who know me are going to say “but how is this any different from you always freak out about your work?” The truth is, I really do tend to… freak about my writing. I don’t have much by way of confidence in it, deep down, and so I fidget and freak and worry and bite my nails. That’s normal. I find it part of the process that allows me not to get too big-headed about writing. This time I didn’t transition from the nervous stage into anything else. This story just sat there like a dead cat, as if to say “You got close, but no cigar, buddy.”
Sigh. Maybe I’m freaking over nothing and maybe I can’t accept that not everything is going to be perfect on the first try. I gotta get used to smacking at something with the literary hammer until I get to the place where the story is perfect. This one is not perfect by far, but maybe that’s a good thing to. I can attend a class and be nervous once in a while. I can be worried. It’s not against the law.
The story’s called “No Hero” and it’s about three girls who work at a convenience store in a world where superheroes run rampant. Many of the heroes in the story are homages to the LARP I ran recently called Heirs of Prometheus, with mentions to other people’s characters, just as sort of an in-joke for me and my friends. Of the three girls, two are obsessed with superheroes while the other one is disdainful of the whole superhero craze and culture and the story follows what develops between the three of them one night at work. Its really, in the long run, about what makes a hero. The main character, Karen Unger, was a non-player character creation of mine for the LARP as well and I always had a fascination with her. Her whole story seemed to live in my head, as did a couple of other of those NPC’s. I’m glad I still have them in my head. More fodder for stories later.
I don’t get workshopped for two weeks. Plenty of time for me to bite off my nails in worry.