This spring I've been taking another online writing class. In fact, it's the second part of the class I took in the fall. Just like that class, this one has been kicking my butt, too. Since we've recently hit the halfway mark of the class, the instructor asked us to reflect. Reflect on what we've learned and what we still want to know.
After thinking a fair amount about the answers to her questions, I decided to make all my work do double duty and post some of my thoughts for all to read.
First off, I have learned a ton about writing, about myself and about how the two intersect. I've discovered that my book is somewhat complicated for a first time novelist. It has at least two separate points-of-view and the narrative could span over ten years. (It's unclear whether that's too long for a first novel or not. Tell me your favorite fiction books that span longer!)
I've also learned that I am primarily a concept writer, which means I like to summarize instead of giving details and my words, sentences (and paragraphs) tend toward the longish side. It's also been made clear to me that I work more easily in the right brain sector of writing, so I like to create, but not so much organize my writing. On the spectrum of organizing, I firmly lean toward not so much.
In the class we have a small group where we post excerpts for feedback. From the other awesome authors in my group I've learned that I need to convert much of that great summarizing into scenes in the present tense. Also, the huge backstory that I have written so much of, needs to be pared down and carefully interwoven into those present day scenes in small doses.
The final part of the reflection is what I want to learn. About my book, about writing and about myself. Look for those thoughts in a couple of days, as I'm still sorting it all out.