Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Stories We Tell

Last night was the first meeting of our new 8-week writing term. I shared an excerpt from my novel (which stands at 18,536 words!) with the large group. We don't applaud after sharing -- a bell is rung and we move on to the next woman -- so the words just kind of sit there. Which is kind of scary.

And while fiction can be liberating because I use made up names and situations, it's more of a challenge for me to share it with a larger group. I'm asking the group to enter a made-up world for just a few minutes. I'm asking them to listen to and understand the different voices and characters. (And one of those characters was slightly intoxicated -- I wonder how that came across!)

I've always felt more at ease sharing personal anecdotes and stories of anxiety (and of grandmothers) in the large group than fiction, because I know those are more accessible. Then again, I've never shared anything so deeply personal that I couldn't put it here on the blog; I might be comparing apples and oranges.

1 comment:

Tonja said...

That's exactly how I feel in the large group - the words "sit there." Very uncomfortable. Things that don't seem that private when I read them at home seem expotentially more raw and exposed in the large group. Better to get feedback, even if it's negative, than to let your mind wonder how terrible it was. (Yours was very good by the way - and I did get it that she was drunk - I felt terrible for her and loved the way the other character reacted.)