What I’m writing, how I’m writing it

I’m on the tail-end of two writing projects – a new short story for fiction workshop and my thesis. The thesis is ready to be put to bed. Actually, it’s been ready for bed for a while; it’s tired and wired and cranky and frankly it wants a drink of wah-wah and a nap. It gets “finishing touches” today, meaning I’m reading it out loud in its entirety to listen to the writing. It’s an important step in the revision process which often gets overlooked. Listen to your writing. Catch repetition in the act, capture awkward phrasing before it captures you, zero in on typing errors and blow them away.

As far as my thesis reading on Friday (which you’re invited to attend, dear reader), I’m performing the piece myself. Many screenplay readings have assigned readers for speaking roles, so I’ll be relying on my character vocal talent. Two weeks ago, peers asked me how I planned to present my thesis, I said I might read it myself – that drew enthusiasm. When posed with the same question of late, peers don’t seem as enthusiastic, but I’m doing it, anyway; we’ll find out if I made the right decision.

The new short story is a fun one to write. It’s set in Cheyenne, where I lived for three years between my undergrad and grad school days. While it’s not a nonfiction tale, it contains an incident that happened to me out west, one that represented some of the worst hours of my life. I’m trying imitation, trying to weave aspects of Stuart Dybek’s “We Didn’t” and T.C. Boyle’s “Tooth and Claw” into the story as positive craft and stylistic choices. The piece will be workshopped on April 22nd and it’s the last piece of writing that will receive peer and professor comments during my MFA.

…That effect of writing that last sentence filled me with a little more cheerless emotion than I thought it would.


[tags]thesis reading, fiction workshop, screenplay reading, read out loud[/tags]

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