Basic plot of "Broken Reflecting Glass": Emily is a woman tortured with the feeling that she is somehow unacceptable and unworthy (of just about anything). The story is about Emily facing a difficult conversation with her mother, about wanting to stand up for herself, wanting to change her situation. The question is: Can she?I'm not sure if that's an adequate summary of my story or not, but it will work for now.
So, I was required to turn my story in two weeks ago on a Monday. I was planning something completely different for the story, but couldn't write it. So, I wrote this instead (in about six hours maybe), edited it (3-4 times), and had some good friends read it as well. I got back good reviews from the people who read it--people who read my stuff in general--and since I felt confident in it, it was easy to turn it in to let my peers since their fingers into it. I wasn't nervous about the actual workshop until about five minutes before my prof said we would be starting with my story first.
Then... devastation. Or internalized devastation, I suppose. The majority (so about six of eight, but probably all eight thought the same) had similar comments. Basically, I broke the cardinal rule of fiction: show, don't tell. The ironic thing is that as I was re-reading my story a day before workshop, I said to myself: "Hmmm... you may be telling to much here Tanya." And low and behold the comments sounded something like this: "Not enough action", "too much telling", "not enough description", and "maybe cut out the first whole page".
So, I took all of those in and it was fine. I even spoke a little about my story--also fine. Then it was my classmate's turn and I took a peak at the written comments. One pretty much slapped me in the face: "Your story is suffering from underdevelopment" and another comment that talked about it being "rough". All fair comments, still, they hurt. And topped with the fact that I'd broken a simple rule of fiction--all I felt was embarrassment. I went through moments of "why am I here?" (a common thought process these past few weeks, actually), and just sorta sat there and internalized everything.
I felt pretty crappy all night and then better in the morning. So... it was okay. Not brutal, like some programs. Everyone was considerate and helpful--encouraging, which is nice. To read what one guy who introduced my story said, click here (he got the title of the story wrong).
Next workshop: Who knows... I need to start working on the story now though.