Wednesday, March 02, 2005

First Pure Fiction Submission - Sheila

I got my first submission today from the new writer's group. It's from Shiela, the American au pair. It's a story about a woman who has some kind of illness and keeps neglecting her health and not going to the doctor or taking medication and stuff. It's a little pretentious. I read in my current book (A Widow for a Year) about a German, minimalist writer who left so much out that there was almost no story left. I know that Shiela's intention (or I assume that her intention) is to make us think, "Wow. What is this woman's illness and why won't she go to the doctor?"

Coupled with this is that her illness entails something to the effect that she can't see objects, just the "spaces in between," hence the title. I'll have to read it again, but I must say that it was a real eye roller. Similarly, I really want this to be an honest group. How else can you learn? I don't want to get feedback like, "Wow. I totally loved your font!" and "I was completely impressed that it was exactly five pages long!"

Thing is, it took a little while for me and my sweeties back in New York (How I miss my Maggie and Eleanor!) to be really honest. And this group goes for three months and reconvenes after a month break with new people. So how can we get really comfortable with each other? I'll try.

I totally don't mean that I want to draw blood with poor Shiela. I did like her energy and enthusiasm. But I want to be able to say, "There was no story. I don't care about this Doris character." Is that too much to ask?

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