I would’ve written this post earlier in the day, but…well, you probably can guess.

Anyway, today was my first critique day in my creative writing workshop. There were three others in the class getting their short stories critiqued, and mine was the third. And it was one of the best critiques I’ve ever had, because they pointed out numerous problems with “Evil Began in a Bar” and gave some really good suggestions on how to improve it. Yeah, the best way to judge a critique is not on how much they praise or hate a story, but on what the critics say that will help you better the story.

As I said, my classmates felt there was a lot that could be improved upon with “Evil Began in a Bar”, which is a retelling of the story of the Fall a la Milton (or a la Ungar, I guess) Some of the big ones were:

  • The tone seemed to shift wildly between dark and comical, serious and light.
  • They couldn’t tell whether this was a dystopia story or a religious fantasy.
  • People unfamiliar with the story of the Fall might be confused by this.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but short stories are not my greatest strength. I’m much better at novels.

Still, there’s a bright side to this. After hearing from my classmates and talking to my teacher after class (in which she agreed with me on my predilection for novels: “You seem to be very expansive in your writing”), I got a better idea of what I can do to modify this story. And like a lot of short stories I seem to be working with lately, this one is going to be rewritten entirely during the second phase. I’m fine with it, really. At this point I’m becoming very used to it, and I like where I could go with this short story on the second draft. I just hope I can keep it under five-thousand words, or it’ll be more difficult to get it published in a magazine.

But before I do any revisions, I’m going to work on the next short story I’m going to write for my creative writing class. That one’s due on the Wednesday before Halloween, so you know I’m going to be bringing the terror. And as the hint I gave a while back indicates, this time it’s going to be a werewolf story. Though if I’m able to pull it off, it’ll be a very unusual werewolf story.

Here’s what’s coming next from creepy ol’ me.

And after the werewolf story…well, I may resubmit “Evil Began in a Bar” for the third time around, when I submit a revision. I guess it’ll depend on how my classmates react to the werewolf story, and how much work I have going on then, among other things. In any case, wish me luck with this and all the other projects I’ve got going on at the moment. It’s because of your support that I’m able to keep working even when stressed out.

Oh, and before I forget, this evening starts Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. According to the Jewish calendar, the Earth is now 5775 years old. So for everyone out there, I hope you have a happy and healthy new year, and I hope you’re inscribed in the Book of Life for the coming year. Also, if I did anything to upset or offend you this past year, I hope you’ll forgive me, because I’ve already forgiven you.

Have a good night, my Followers of Fear!

  1. Angela Misri says:

    Happy Rosh Hashanah Rami!

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