(I love Ray Bradbury. He's my literary great-grandfather.)
I'm something wicked. Here's why:
As you know, I'm taking this fiction writing workshop at the university. So far, I've really enjoyed it and have been impressed by the group's caliber. Thus far, we have workshopped 7 stories/chapter, with today's class bringing the eighth.
Sometimes it can be tough to think of something encouraging and helpful to write in essay format, when all I really want to do is hand them my marked-up copy of their draft and skip off into the sunset, waiting for the cannon fire to make me sh*t my pants*. Six times now, I've managed to write semi-coherent, semi-helpful (I hope) comment sheets.
But today's eludes me.
This is where I'm going to admit that sometimes being in a live-bodied critique format can be tricky. No one wants to step on each others' toes, but as time goes on, we get more comfortable with one another and the footstompers come out.
There's a particular guy in my class who has an...um, unique...way of contributing to the critique. I know he means well, but lately it's started to grate on my nerves. While what he's saying isn't necessarily unhelpful, it's also almost the limit of his input.
Good critique, like good writing, needs to be varied. And adjustable, once you start hearing from other people.
Anyway, this guy's been spouting off for 5 weeks now, and today is his turn on the chopping block.
Let me tell you, I am feeling mightily tempted to use his own critique format against him. I didn't particularly enjoy his contribution, and after he shredded a short story that I really liked (not mine) during last class, I'm feeling a bit vindictive.
Bad Summer! Right? Right.
Also, I'm trying to put together a thoughtful dual posting on what makes strong female leads and male leads in fiction. So that's why I've been kinda quiet.
*The university I'm attending is a heavily military school. Their cadet corps is, like, 89% of the student body (not really, but it seems like it). So, every day at 5pm, they lower the flag, play the bugle, and...FIRE A FREAKIN' CANNON.
And the first day I was innocently walking by the green when this happened? Unaware, unassuming, unprepared?