Two small words, yet words capable of providing encouragement and affirmation!
Today, Pam and I attended a Writing and Revising Workshop here in Guelph, under Brian Henry's instruction. This is his 3rd workshop I've attended - Pam a few more than that. The information covered today was extremely helpful and once again shows Pam and I that we are on the right track.
As mentioned earlier, we were to bring 1000 words we had written, and 4 copies of it at that. In the class, we broke up into small groups to read and critique each other's work if we had brought a sample in. (For some reason Brian thought Pam and I shouldn't be sitting together for this exercise - imagine!)
So I sat with two unknown fellow writers, and for the first time since this journey began, read aloud part of Body Perfect, in front of total strangers. A little unnerving! However, they were both very supportive, and offered some good suggestions. Both said they would very much to like read more and know where the story was going - to me that's VERY positive! And of course, the tables were turned for each of us in turn, as I then had to offer comments and encouragement on their pieces of work.
I imagine Pam will recount her experience with unveiling Madelaine in front of strangers as well!
After the exercise was done we regrouped. Brian asked for feedback from the class on how we felt the critiquing had been. Not many comments were forthcoming from the 20 or so participants, so I raised my hand and expressed the feeling that I found the experience very worthwhile, had received some good suggestions and it was good to have fresh eyes see my/our work.
If only I had known!
"Up here", says Brian, indicating I should join him at the front of the class . "And bring another copy"
Much to my chagrin and racing heart, I was to read it again to the whole class. 1000 words never seemed so long!
Sat back down and then, of course, the whole class was invited to comment. More suggestions received, all constructive and borne of other's experience. Most I believe I will incorporate into the story, along with Brian's suggestions.
He summed up by saying , "Bodies in stories are a dime a dozen - but a story about the body being a porcelain doll? Very promising" (Can you see me beaming from here???)
So now I see the opening of Body Perfect from a different perspective and will be doing a bit of rework and see how it sounds, and then if Pam is in agreement with the changes, that will go for the final draft.
All in all a very good seminar today, and we enjoyed a good meal afterward, I'm just waiting to hear from Pam that she arrived home safely.
Hope your weekend is going well...