As some of you are aware, I’ve embarked on a writing venture. This is my first such venture and I’m realizing that education or training in this area would be beneficial.
What is My Training?
None: I don’t have a degree or certification in Creative Writing, English, Journalism or similar. I haven’t attended any workshops. I’ve never worked with an editor.
How-To Books: There are lots of helpful “how to write” books. My favorite is Stephen King’s On Writing. He was one of my first favorite authors and that might be why I like his book best. He’d probably say my current 10,090 words is not a fast enough pace.
I’ve sought professional help! I have two upcoming sessions — separate and distinct: a writing consult and an editing consult.
Writing Consult: A post-secondary institution asks for seven pages of my writing. It can be poetry, prose, whatever I’ve written.
My response: Excellent. I could submit that now.
Editing Consult: An editors’ association (I didn’t know there was such a thing) requests:
- A one-page summary of what my writing project is about, and
- The first chapter of my writing project.
My response: A one-page summary is straightforward — let me put that together. I’ve pretty much already got the first chapter.
When I start putting it together I remember that a summary requires knowledge of not only the beginning, but also the middle and end. Uh-oh.
The first chapter…well, I’m writing in scenes. Scenes are not chapters. (Am I in fact writing a screenplay?) I could mash up a few scenes to make a chapter but such an exercise would not be in keeping with the feel of the story. (I can see how I may very well be an editor’s dream.)
Oh, and this material must be submitted one full week prior to each scheduled consultation. Uh-oh.
- I went through some of my short stories, flash fiction and poetry, intending to submit a mix. Which ones to submit? Seven pages suddenly seems terribly short.
- Then, I realized I could submit the same material I’m going to submit to the Editing Consult. I see value in the opportunity to have both writing and editing critique at an early stage. But, is there such a thing as too much feedback from too many different angles at once?
- I’m going to create a summary, even though the story is coming to me as I write. And I’m only about 13% done.
- I’m going to write the first chapter, even though the story is coming to me in scenes and I don’t know what’s in the first chapter.
Help! What Should I Do?
Should I submit the same or different material to the writing and editing consults?
Polls are open for one week! I’ll need all the time I can get to prepare, either way.
Please also leave your comments, below, anytime.
Thank you! 🙂