Wednesday nights are something that I look forward to. It’s the night I get to attend my writers group. Since starting I have learned lots, made friends and my writing has improved. I don’t read as often as I should (or as often as my peers would like). Truth be told there are times that I hesitate to read what I am working on for many reasons – one I can often hear the critiques from different writers, and want to fix the things I know they are going to catch before I read them; 2. we have a diverse group and I don’t believe we should all be subjected to writing that we might be offended by (i.e. lots of cursing and such); three the subject manner might be a little intense (i.e. we have some real animal lovers and I have one story where a dog is abruptly killed and wanted to be ‘sensitive‘ the them; and finally 4. I am not as disciplined as I hope to be and don’t always feel ready to read as often as I should.
So I have been working on this short story about a gravedigger for awhile. I have it written by hand and have been working on transcribing it to the computer – but I keep getting stumped because it is showing a side of humor that I did not initially intend – so I put it away for several weeks. Each time I pulled it out the humor came back. Last week when I started again working on it, I thought, ‘oh it’s not as funny as I thought and still has that dark side‘, so I went back to work on it. I just decided to let the story tell itself which sometimes isn’t hard as I often become the main character.
Tonight was a nice affirmation that I am on the right track with the story as the first several pages which I read were critiqued very positively. Some of the nice compliments that are easy to remember are how much one person is impressed by how well I write in the 1st person and several others commented on the humor and the dialogue being right on target. There is one passage which I wasn’t sure if it really fit in the story – I had not really considered condensing it and revealing less (I had thought of deleting it), so it was refreshing to have that suggestion made because the room all seemed to like it, but thought it went a little long. One person even went so far as to say that he thinks this is the thing he has most enjoyed of my readings.
I guess I am on the right track. Critiques are helpful, affirmations are nice, but having your story be read/heard – all the better. Now I need to get it finished.