Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Building a writing career for $200, Alex.

I submitted the short story about the gangster that isn't a communist to my fiction writing professor, (The illustrious Richard Krawiec. I keep trying not to gibber at him. I'm also bragging a little bit 'cause, totally neener.)

As a note, this is the very first time I'd ever given my writing to someone who qualified as a professional writer for feedback. I was a little nervous about it, because
a) I was supposed to turn in a dramatic scene only. He was under no obligation whatsoever to give me any feedback at all on a 4,500 word story instead of the assigned 500 word scene, and I was worried that it might have been very rude to ask.
b) OMG, professional, published, acclaimed writer looking at my work!

He nailed me on the point that I needed to cut all the communism references I'd initially started with as they felt contrived compared to what had evolved as the real story, and he pointed out some logistic errors regarding points of view and my transitions therein. He also pointed out that one of the characters needed to be more than a wall to bounce conversation off. There were a few other things as well, but all of the things he mentioned were things that I hadn't seen. (And I had spent several hours, -6-, revising before I sent it on.)

My reaction to seeing all the red spots? "WOO! He took my writing seriously!" Because he gave me detailed, pointed, and lots of feedback, as opposed to a vague, "That's nice. Try revising a little more to get rid of some of the nonessentials, and it'll be better!"

So I went through each of his suggestions and revisions, and I reworked it. I'm letting it sit, and then I'm going after it again tonight.

So here's what I'm not sure of. Should I send it back to him, and ask if I properly understood and implemented his suggestions, or should I email him and ask if he would want to see it after the changes were made? I mean, on one hand, he's my professor in a course on creative writing, but on the other hand, I am taking up his time on technically-unrelated-to-specific-class-assignments.

Mrph. In other news, I applied to join a writing group that meets locally, in hopes of kicking my own ass on a schedule.


  1. Well, this is how friendships and deep rapports get started. Give it back to him and judge his reaction. You're smart, you'll be able to see if he doesn't really want to spend extra time on your outside-of-class writing, or if he's totally receptive to being your mentor.

  2. I would e-mail him, asking him if it's okay to give him the revised version and that you'd really like his feedback on it. (if you just give it to him without asking him first and then he doesn't get around to it for a few weeks, you'll feel a bit hurt.)

  3. I'm with Aneira-- I'd ask first.