The writing class is keeping me busy. The group of writers is congenial -- I think we all showed up on Day One determined to be -- and they have a remarkable degree of talent.
They're also prolific. Over the course of every week, each of us -- nine so far -- has to review and critique the work of all the others, then summarize each critique to share aloud in class, and the critiques we share cannot take longer than a minute and a half to deliver!
So you sit down in your spare time and go over each manuscript -- 2500 to 5000 words, with a few of my classmates pushing the upper limit -- and catch the obvious things, characters who walk through a door and then open it, William Vest changing names to Grigori West with no explanation, Varangians in toe shoes. Then you go through and look for plot holes, lack of clarity (after the first 2500 words, we really ought to know what these characters are up to!), larger continuity errors, inconsistencies of style and tone. And then you've got to decide which of these are sufficiently important to earn mention in your minute and a half!
Of course, we share the annotated manuscripts as well, and having eight more people look over one's work is a quick (and humbling) education in where you go wrong that begins to illuminate why.
It is a lot of work; it's what I am doing instead of watching television (I'm several episodes behind on The Orville) and Facebook. The latter is probably small loss; oh, it's fun and I have a wide range of friends there, but it is ephemeral by design.
2 months ago