Last night was my second class in creative writing at the church’s masterclass.
I have to admit, I almost didn’t go, yet I’m so glad I did. I had not been feeling well yesterday and I now have an appointment with my eye doctor because I am also not seeing well. Anyway, I think I heard the one thing I needed to hear in class last night which might explain why I keep getting so many rejections from the editors I send my work to.
BARF is another way of saying “get it on the page.” I don’t do that. It’s kind of like a brain dump where you take all your ideas and just write them down in no particular order. Then you move on to the next step where you rewrite and revise. I don’t do that enough either. I tend to write a story, edit for basic grammar and punctuation and then I hit send with no real revision. I guess I hate to “kill my darlings” or something, but it must be that to keep on getting rejected as much as I do. (I’m talking about paying markets, not platforms like Medium) Then polish. Nope. I haven’t been doing that either. I write the story and if it moves me, I hit send. UGH! I feel really dumb and kind of full of myself. How could I think I don’t need editing? That is why you should take classes or be involved in a writing group that can give you positive (or negative) feedback.
On top of all that, I have not exactly been following the proper 5-step structure of a short story. More like a 3-step process: Introduce the setting and characters, state the “problem” or conflict, write the ending. NEVERMIND steps 3 and 4; 3 being the stakes are raised and 4 being the climax or big moment. THEN, comes the resolution/reflection or number 5 in the process. I have a lot of work to do.
For next week, we are to write a shorter version of a short story so that all four of us have time to share them. Somewhere around 600-800 words, I would guess. So now I have to create something and I am not good at that. I will give it a shot though. I did share my poem from last week and it was well-received. If I just slow down and take my time, stop worrying that I should be doing something else, I will get it done. And this time, I won’t share it unless it goes over well in class. 😉
I’m also ashamed that I shared the address to my blog without prefacing that it is not always the best example of my writing, it’s more like a mishmash of things. I save creative writing for Medium publications or paying markets and I keep it pretty real here and write about more daily life kinds of things. Although I do share stories and poems every now and then. I need to make more of an effort to get my work in front of you, my fellow bloggers, so you can give me that constructive criticism I obviously need!! I’ll try to do better!
The other important takeaway from the class was that we should never forget “The ultimate job of a story is to entertain.”
With that, I leave you this!