Humility plus

12 06 2008

I found my little story & gave it a good editing.  Drug it into the Writer’s Group and the ladies there did a masterful job of pointing out the errors of my ways.  Overuse of adverbs, starting too many sentences with the word “it,” using too many “its” in general, chop the last sentence, chop the third sentence in paragraph six because it’s (to quote Judy) “squishy.”  We wouldn’t want any squishiness going on, would we?

One of the problems of writing happy prose with happy endings is, unless you are exceedingly careful and skillful, you have a tendency to slide into sentimentality or maudlin mush.  Squishy is bad.  Cutting edge fiction, modern and post-modern (how can you have post modern fiction?  Doesn’t modern by definition mean what’s being written right now?  Post modern would be whatever will be written ten years from now.  Unfortunately, they already assigned and time period and genre to post-modern literature, so we are now writing post-post-post modern literature)… to resume: cutting edge fiction can be gritty, depressing, horrifying, or mundane, but it is rarely squishy.  It takes an optomist to generate squish.

I started that last sentence with the word “it.”  I am becoming paranoid.

It is good to have a group that does not automatically think I am a wonderful writer.  They think I am a good writer with the potential to become very good, but the whole lot of them are serious students of great literature, read extensively in ponderous books, and can recognize the weaknesses in what I’m doing.
They hone in on my flaws like yellow jackets on an August picnic.

Having a good group is a wonderful thing- a real blessing.  But even while I am appreciating their honest, intelligent comments, I’m wincing, too.  I’ve had to stop myself three times in this paragraph already from starting a sentence with the word “it.”  I’ve got to be better than I’ve ever been, and I automatically fear I will fail.  Humility hurts, however beneficial it is!

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One response

18 06 2008
Lisa

I love your writing and I believe you are a good writer. If you want to be a great writer then the criticism is inevitable. Even the greatest writers have editors to help so in the end you will have a best seller. Keep writing.It will be great, it will be hard, it will be an adventure. God is always within earshot with a shoulder to cry on. Don’t dwell in inadequacies. Love you.

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