Fiction Writing Workshop

My brother and I reading

My brother and I reading

I just started the Summer Writer’s Institute at WashU, and I am very excited to (hopefully) finish a fiction piece. For my first piece, I handed in a new draft of the piece I worked on earlier this year about two girls and their friendship throughout time. For the new draft, I tried to really hone in on the deeper point of the story–I’m not a very explicit writer, and I think nuance is more important than plot half the time, so this task required a strong grip on solid, plain language and a lot of time to comb through what I already have. We’ll see how that workshop goes soon!

There is, however, a second piece due soon, and I have no idea what to do. Take a piece I have now and try to salvage it? Come up with something new? Both seem impossible to do well in under a week.

But I suppose that’s what this is about, right? Making myself write new, convincing fiction instead of letting it languish, like I want to. It’ll be painful (well, not too bad; the people in this class are almost too kind), but so, so worth it if I have another draft of something to work with. The way I draft tends to be formulaic: step 1, write something, anything; step 2, figure out the plot, which is probably not what happened in step 1; step 3, rewrite!; step 4, workshop, repeat.

Look at me! I’m already ending sentences with too many prepositions!


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