Workshop Update: Late but Just remembered!

I can’t believe I forgot to explain what happened with “No Hero” during workshop.

To recap, I had completely lost my mind with worrying obsessively over this story. I was, in fact, so completely sure that it sucked that I dreaded going to class. It was the oddest moment in the world for me to come in and sit down and wait patiently while we talked about someone else’s work while I had jitterbugs in my stomach. I actually took out a copy of my story and began hacking into it, making notes and such, while other people were talking. All because I was so nervous. It was crazy.

Then people got to it and… wham. They loved it. I got praise from everyone, pretty much. Sure, there is the one caustic, rude literature nazi in the class who I spoke about in a previous post, who the Pretension Police should come and take away. He wouldn’t be impressed if the Queen of England came in dancing the tarantella and wearing a hat with fruit on it, but he even had a couple of nice things to say. I got the girl who is so Danielle Steele meets The OC that it makes me crazy, and the older woman who came to the class just to ‘write her memoir’ (which I can’t stand hearing her pronounce over and over). I got the guy who is the comic book fan (which made me happy since, well, he’d be the hardest to please), the two poet graduate students, the quiet writer chick, and this guy Pietro who I’ve had class with a ton of times. I knew I had them from the way they talked about the story… but…

I didn’t get them quite enough. They were excited about the story but not too much. They had seen parts of it coming, they had still found it fascinating, but there had been a predictability that had dumbed down the oomph. I did that so it would appeal to both comic book lovers and non-comic lovers, but it took something away from the big reveal I had at the end. I made the story more about the issues that I was raising than I was about the majesty of a super-hero in action, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Still, I managed to cover the spread from one side of the room to the other…

I’m just a little too picky for words. I’m in the middle of taking what the professor said in our meeting afterwards and in her commentary letter to me and editing the paper. Her talk with me was actually refreshing. She warned me against going to MFA programs for writing, that writers like me who enjoy the genre writing of horror/scifi/fantasy don’t always do well in ‘literary programs’ and that I might do better just getting into the genre writing by going to conventions, talking to people, and just going out and experiencing life. Basically, she told me that what I was doing was what I needed to do. It was, really, just the meeting I needed.

The story did well, in recap, but not as well as I would have liked. Its not high art by itself so I’m thinking of expanding it to its own novel. Superhero fiction is becoming big and I think it can do something, so I’m going to give it enough room to move. On its own, it is almost finished.

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