Another great breakfast, chatting away with other authors. Then off to have Don spend three hours blowing us out of the water repeatedly 🙂
Today focused on the inner journey of the protagonist and digging even deeper into them. I personally found an entirely new angle to hit with my protagonist and her issues, and yeah, it took things way way deeper. The writing that always comes out of these workshop sessions is always on some higher level! We rounded out the morning with some work on our antagonist, but I didn’t get nearly deep enough with him yet.
Lunch was extra fun today. Our conversation went all over the place between six awesome people at the table: travel, nuclear radiation, cars, foreign languages. I spend a lot of time alone between my profession that pays the bills and the rest of my life. Probably too much time. But Caro Dosé turned at me near the end of lunch with wide eyes and asked, “Is there anything you don’t know about?” Seemingly exasperated with my varied contributions to the conversation, she said really she was envious. It made me a little shy and more than a little confused. I just remember the look on her face because to me I was just going off on my little diatribe on the fact that Korean and Japanese are not part of the Sino-Chinese languages. In the end it was a great reminder to get out there (ahem, off the computer) and go be you. You might be surprised what you find, in others, and in yourself.
My one-on-one with Brenda was today. She had my first five pages and asked if there was anything else I’d like to go over first. I spent a little time being self-conscious and talking about my “performance anxiety”. It feels so weird when I do love writing so much, and it helped to hear that it is something everyone goes through at one point or another. My fellow in performance anxiety LoraLee Kodzo added that we feel that anxiety because our writing, these stories, mean so much to us. They matter. And our intense care for them can make us scared to put pen to paper, fingers to keys.
The feedback Brenda gave on my pages was great. Some spots I was worried might be weak were, but other things I was worried about weren’t bad parts at all. We writers really can be a neurotic lot, huh? But then, when you read the same few pages over and over again, who wouldn’t go a little crazy? Ah, the things we do for love. She was really great though and had said some great crazy nice comments that I’d never heard before in terms of positive feedback.
Editing, a swim, and dinner. Don sat at my table but the giant chicken I am, I just talked to the people next to me and never tried to engage him, though he was only a couple seats away. I get my half an hour on Friday. Until then I’m happy to listen. Gretchen Stone was kind enough to egg on some of my rowdier thoughts while at the dinner table and had me in tears with laughter. Definitely wasn’t going to talk to Don after that!
Lorin did a great improv workshop on pacing for an hour tonight. With just a few ideas and guidelines I was again surprised to see what tumbled out of me and onto the page. I first worked on the deepening of my protagonist Don had pulled out of me earlier. Then I worked on “looking to the side” of a high intensity moment in a scene. Horns on, you knew it was going to be a smut scene with me, not a fight of some kind. While intense but reduced in explicit nature, I was still happy to let others read their paragraphs. Until Lorin said she was sad no one had done a sex scene and I playfully threw my arm up so she knew at least one person had. Yeah, no, she made me read it. She seemed really happy with it. I was looking at her face and…blame it on the internet, but there’s a huge impact at seeing someone’s face in response to something you’ve written. More food for thought in there.
Now it’s time for a few more edits and some sleep. I’d like to be prepped and ready for another awesome day in writing paradise!