My First Workshop…

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I finished my YA book. That is, I wrote it all down and now I’m in the process of revision.

I reread it and printed it out because I find I catch a lot on paper that I miss on the screen. I had fun marking it up, but the best moment was when I finished reading through it. I felt like I had a giant pile of play dough to mess with. I noticed that in my passion to get it all down I skimmed some of the setting and a few of the minor characters. I’ve been having fun fleshing them out.

I think the editing process is going to be my favorite part of this writing thing.

I signed up for two workshops this month, but one got cancelled. So I went through the agonizing process of deciding which manuscript to take. I decided to take the first ten pages of my YA and save the picture book for next month.

I’d never been to a workshop before or even a critique. We used to do critiques in my studio art classes, offering criticism and compliments on paintings and drawings hung up and down the hallway. It was very similar, except that I find I’m much less emotionally attached to my writing.

There were six of us and I thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone’s pages. There were two middle grade books, two picture books, and two young adult novels.

We read each other’s out loud and two, at least, I wanted to curl up with and read to the end. And then someone read mine. It was interesting to hear it in someone else’s voice. The comments and critiques I got were very helpful. They brought up questions I hadn’t considered for my character which helped me get to know her better.
In the end I found a better way to present the setting in the initial chapters that tells the reader more about what’s going on and gets to the action sooner. So, I’m excited all over again.

Now, I just need to find a couple of uninterrupted hours between nap time and school pickup to get it down.

I really, really like this writing thing.

2 responses »

  1. I’m glad you had such a good experience! Joining a critique group was how I got my start writing, and it was a really important part of my writing “career.” The accountability, the exchange of ideas, the honest discussion of pros and cons of our writing, the camaraderie – it all helped me grow in my writing. I wish I could find another good group – the last two or three I’ve been a part of mainly had members who wouldn’t commit, and actually showing up each time is very important.

    Like

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