02 March 2010

Writing Class

I signed up for an online class from author Anastasia Suen. The class is the first half of her children's chapter book workshop.

I'm looking forward to it. I've never taken anything remotely resembling a creative writing class. The only real writing class I took was a newspaper reporting and writing class in college.

I think that news writing class is why I tend to write short. Newspaper articles are generally short. I think I internally edit before I even get the words on page.

When I finish writing a book, it's never long enough. At least not in terms of word count - which is nebulous and not a hard-and-fast rule but try pitching a "short" book to an agent or editor. As I revise, I find myself adding words - details, character development, dialog, subplots.

Everyone else in my critique group has to delete words in their works. I felt like some kind of weird writing freak.

Until I went to the SCBWI conference in Austin in January.

The author Sara Lewis Holmes was speaking with her editor, and one of the things Ms. Holmes said was that she was a writer who had to add words. I wanted to leap out of my seat and cry, "Me, too!" I was so thrilled to find out I wasn't alone.

I even emailed her to thank her for the hope she had given me. She wrote back to me and told me she had a similar reaction when she heard another author say the same thing.

Learning about other author's work and methods and habits make me realize that my own haphazard, strange approach to writing could actually work.

Here's hoping!