My two groups have been really good again today. They’re all writing prose – life writing or fiction. The work is good on the whole but it all still needs another tidy up. I am confident that most of them can manage this. They are all missing the chance to show rather than tell, yet they are getting a real sense of what that means. We talked about editing and perhaps looking for one item at a time. This will inevitably distort the shape of the text they are producing and may lead to word count problems which will also have to be resolved. Yet this all belongs to the craft.
There were some clumsy sentences and some run-on sentences in some pieces. They will probably deal with the former in their editing process. They must learn to avoid run-on sentences. They point to a lack of understanding of grammar in the writer and could preclude the text from being published in the USA. They should only use them if the effect is worth the hassle with the copy-editor.
I was very pleased to find out that all of my students are working on their writing outside the course. Some are working on the same material as here, others on new material. They are becoming professional writers. They run their own critique groups amongst their peers and some post to on-line sites and e-critique groups. Some are using social networking tools to create themselves as writers though they are all aware that they may need to create a different identity from their social identity.