Kelly Green, in response to our recent MFA discussion: I’ll tell you why I want an MFA. Because I am scared shitless of this literary world that I can only find on the internet. You’re using words I don’t know the meaning of, and when you talk about craft, my instinct is to think ‘beer’. […]
On Monday, while browsing through my Facebook feed instead of writing the story like a good little writer, I stumbled across an article by The Writer’s Circle entitled “How To Take Feedback (And Trust It, Too).” This article not only provides helpful tips in establishing what feedback is trustworthy versus feedback that may have a hidden agenda, but also ways to apply this feedback and showing appreciation for your critic. In preparation for residency, I thought I would consider the tips that stood out the most for me. Whether they are things I forget to do in workshop or reminders to myself that encourage me to continue writing.
After all, the notes we writers receive on the early drafts of our manuscripts can be pretty brutal. If we do not encourage ourselves to continue writing, who will? Continue reading “How To Take Feedback (And Trust It, Too): Courtesy of The Writer’s Circle”
My characters own homes and in those homes I like to describe the several different rooms in which my characters dwell. In the living room, I enjoy describing how they watch TV, one engulfed in the football game while drinking a beer while another is falling asleep in their favorite chair. The kitchen is where the cooking happens or where recipes are burned beyond saving so they decide to order a pizza. Then, we all know what happens in the bedroom…sleep! Get your minds out of the gutter. The one area I resist in all my stories is a trap I have seen several writers fall in to.
The dining room. Where characters gather to eat and, more often than not, talk. However, the casual conversations that take place around the dinner table may seem interesting to our characters but are not interesting to the reader.
Hence, the dining dilemma. Continue reading “The Dining Dilemma: Dialogue at the Dinner Table”
“Creative writing doesn’t want to be worked at, just as cakes don’t want you opening the oven door on them all the time, or animals don’t want you harassing them into submission, or children don’t want you to force feed them the rules for growth. You can bake a cake or tame an animal or raise a child under these circumstances, but it will emerge tragically deflated, a poor approximation of what it might have been.”
How do we as writer’s incorporate something foreign into our work? Write from the point of view of a different race? Portray a scene that we have never experienced? Describe the layout of a city, state or country we have never been to? Some of this can be achieved through research, the first draft of a story being a draft or placeholder until we have enough money to travel to that state. I know one day I want to travel to what remains of Topaz, the Japanese internment camp in Utah or to China to see a Chinese opera.
But what about the things we cannot change? I’m an African American woman who could bleach my skin but would still identify as black. So how do I go about writing White, Asian, Latino or Biracial characters? Continue reading “(X)enophobia: Why Do We Fear Writing What’s Foreign?”