Be ready to duck

We’ve been back in New Hampshire for a little over a week now. Last night was my first writing group meeting since December. And I actually jumped right back into the fray and submitted a revision of my “Jamie” story.

I suppose I could be accused of creating the fray when, following all of the insightful comments from my fellow writers, I took my copy of my story and tossed it into the air. Some might say I flung it across the room but no one can claim that it hit them. So much for saving my ranting and raving for the drive home…..

My husband was appalled when I told him what I had done. He feels that now no one will be honest with their comments in the future, fearful that they will provoke a similar reaction. Not my writing group. Not after five years of sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. (That’s my writing–everyone else’s is good to outstanding in my mind.)

I am hopeful that they are still happy to have me back after my winter away……I certainly am thankful to be back with my “muses”!

This morning I reviewed the written comments from two of the members of my group. It’s always eye-opening to see my writing through their eyes. Areas that are clear to me they find confusing. Why? It’s clear in my mind what I am trying to convey–but not so much on paper it appears. How would I ever identify those deficiencies without their assistance?  Once I’ve written multiple drafts of a story, it becomes harder and harder to recognize problem areas on my own. Reading it out loud helps–but after correcting any issues that jump out at that point, my writing always sounds pretty darn good. To me.

So thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your patience and support. And I suppose next time I submit you’ll be ready to duck.

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About Karen Whalen

A contemporary fiction writer with an accumulation of incomplete novels and short stories, I consider NH "home," spending the summer through Christmas there with my husband. My youngest daughter and her family live nearby (as well as my mother and other family members). January finds us venturing to VA to visit our middle daughter and her family before we make our way to sunny AZ to live with our oldest daughter and family. We spend time in VA on our way home. I am fortunate that my daughters live in places I would have retired to all on my own! My 87 year-old mother asks if I will finish my novel (which one, I wonder) before she dies.....Even with that for a goal, I manage to excel at procrastination!

Posted on May 29, 2015, in blogging, Karen Whalen, writing, Writing Group and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Alas, his grandparents would probably not even notice if something were thrown at them given their state of sobriety…..whereas you, Eleanor, being completely sober, knew enough to be fearful of airborne paper.

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  2. Eleanor Ingbretson

    I beg to differ with Heidi. Maybe she never got a paper cut but all I could see for one nano-second was sharp edged paper raining paper cuts down on me. Of course I had just finished reading Neil Gaiman’s ‘Neverwhere’, which I highly reccommend, and there were an awful lot of sharp objects in that story.
    We all felt your frustration, Karen, that’s why I guess we took it in stride. “Jamie” is a great story. Jamie, himself, is a jewel of a character. His grandparents, his antagonists, are just asking to have things thrown at them.

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  3. Heidi, what a relief to know that my behavior was acceptable! Now to convince my husband. Revision is sheer torture for me. I’d much rather start fresh. Of course, we know where that gets me–dozens of files on my computer waiting patiently for those magic words: THE END (and this time I mean it!)

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  4. But all our comments, always, include the word “yet,” as in, “I don’t really understand where these characters are coming from yet.” There’s always the next draft. And among writers, it is always acceptable to hurl anything that doesn’t have sharp edges.

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