Today I’m submitting my first fiction piece to the writing group. The great thing: I won’t be at the next meeting, so I won’t have to read it out loud. The bad thing: me and “fiction” are a lot like me and 5” heels; two things that should never be together, but still I gave it a shot.
How I know it’s bad? I sent it off to friends with heavy disclaimers like “I do NOT write fiction. This is a first attempt!” (Well, not a first attempt, but the only one I’ve shared with people who weren’t going to grade it with press-on gold stars and smiley faces.) The non-writers came up with immediate feedback which boiled down to “good first try”. The one that lived with me said “good, but some awkward sentences” (my hallmark) and the real writers, well let’s just say I know, because I am familiar with good writing and am very aware of what I wrote, that they’re thinking of polite ways to not crush my soul. See, I KNEW this creative writing thing was a TERRIBLE idea. Stick to non-fiction, my brain said, but nooooo had to go all fictiony. *sigh*
I knew I should have stuck with my hackneyed An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge idea. I had researched all sorts of information on deserts, the various stages of dehydration, Juan Diego and the Virgen de Guadalupe (not that any of that was part of the story, but let’s just say that the desert is dangerous and people risk a lot on a dream). Instead, I went with young adult fantasy fluff (at least there were no vampires or even dragons, thankfully). The downside (well, aside from the fact that I don’t write fiction) was trying to cram a story into a slim two pages. Since I had dialog, I decided 3 ½ was acceptable. Still, there wasn’t a lot of space to develop the story and then wrap it up, which all add up to a lot of excuses for the fact that I cannot write fiction. Did I mention the analogy about the 5” heels?
Brightside: I still don’t have to read it. WOO HOO!