Days 7 and 8

Well, we met Michael Swanwick last night. He seemed very funny, very intense, and very different from Chip. One of the things he said that really made sense to me was that he’s here to tell us what a story feels like. He articulated a problem I have definitely felt both in my writing and in giving critiques. There is something vaguely wrong about all the stories I’ve ever written. They feel more or less deformed. It’ll be interesting to see what he has to say about how to straighten out a story.

His critiques today were even more different. Chip was alot more focused on finding the heart of the story and seeing how it could be redirected to something more interesting. Michael goes through it page by page and shows you how you can make this story work. Both approaches have alot of value, and it’s really fascinating to get them both.

My story is still pretty much where I left it yesterday. I’m 500 words from the end, and I need to go back and clean up all the places where I just did not feel up to handling things. To make matters worse, I fell asleep after lunch for around three hours. I’m currently in Van Hoosen, trying to batter my story into shape. I’m not sure about this story. I think I’ll like it once it’s done, but who knows? I plan on finishing it tonight, revising it tomorrow and turning it in on Wednesday morning so it can be critiqued on Thursday.

After that, I still need to critique roughly 30,000 words (our biggest stack yet). But I’m saving the worst of my brain for that.

I’d like to say again that my Clarion classmates are awesome. My respect for them has grown immensely over even the past week. They’re universally very funny, interesting people. Everyone is in a different place with their fiction, but everyone brings something to the table with their fiction. I’m always really interested to see what they’ve written, and some of the

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