Friday, October 16, 2015

Back to School

I'm taking a course in Creative Fiction Writing.

That line took a lot of courage to write.

I like to write, but commenting on music, books, movies, family, politics, travel and the like is quite safe. Facts are easy and opinions about ephemeral or concrete things are - for the most part - innocuous enough. A little humor. A little "life observation". Some encouragement to try out a song, or a new food, or to see a place of interest - easy and safe. People can take it ot leave it. Not really a big deal.

Fiction should be safer - but it isn't.

My fiction isn't safe because it is so close to me. It is so close to my core. It feels quite personal and when others read it I feel very exposed. Some writers call their stories their "children". I think some of my stories may be my "demons". And because it's personal I want it to find someone who likes it and appreciates it because when they do I will know it is safe in their arms. Or being dealt with in their hearts. But rejection - that would be the worst.

Still, here it is. I'm in a group every week, and I need to engage to at least get my $160 worth out of it. So I'm writing a short story - although I turned it into a screenplay for a two and a half hour movie driving back from class on Wednesday. I do tend to get ahead of myself.

What have I learned so far?
I need to focus. I am learning to think the whole process through much more. To look at what is happening on the page from new perspectives. This is helpful.

I think I can demonstrate. This was my first opening line:

"Everyone thought it was strange - except for Piper."

I thought I had the hook there but no, not really.

This is the new opening line - and it may not survive, but I think I'm going in the right direction:

"The morning assaulted Piper."

Same story, but I think the second line is better at drawing the reader in. I am learning to write to help the reader enter the story more easily and more fully.

Not safe - to be so exposed.

Worth it - I pray.


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