Clarion Diary: Week 2

 

New week, new teacher. The last week of Clarion, Kelly (Link, the goddess) told me that Week 2 is the hardest week for teachers to step in. The class has just gotten used to workshop, students have kind of imprinted on the Week 1 teacher, but they're also still feeling a bit uncertain. So huge props to Holly Black for being a super kickass Week 2 teacher.

 

 

A view of the common room area in my apartment from the other side (you can see a view from the table in Week 1). I was watching The Man from Laramie for a story idea about a terrible experience I had in high school. I ultimately felt a bit too insecure to debut it at Clarion, but it is something I am still working on.

 

 

Holly taught us how to write up our own magic systems! I am not great at this. Bad at math, logic, rules, etc.

 

 

I highly recommend mornings in the vegetable garden.

 

 

My "method" before Clarion was to free write random thoughts in a notebook until a story sort of came together, but I discovered there is only so far you can go before you need to apply craft. Would you believe it--I learned the five act structure Week 2 at Clarion.

 

 

Another reading at Mysterious Galaxy with Holly reading from The Darkest Part of the Forest. I bought a copy afterwards, looking forward to reading it. Best quote: "Nothing was fair in Fairie."

 

 

Might I add, Holly had the most amazing dress on.

 

 

Ok, so this is where the Clarion process finally felt "real" to me. The critique wasn't bad in itself, but suddenly I realized that writing is not just fun, it is also work, and if I want to elevate my writing from amateur-writing-in-a-bubble work to professional quality, there is a lot of craft knowledge that I still have to develop. They say that most Clarionites struggle around Week 4, but for me, it was Week 2.

 

 

Obviously still smarting from my critique. I never really used laptops unless I needed to hide behind the "wall."

 

 

We started to compile hilarious quotes from Clarion in Week 1. I miss these people already and it's only been a week.

 

 

Holly was SO KIND and bought us food on several occasions. Writers don't make a ton of money, people, it was crazy generous of her! Holly if you ever come through Atlanta, meals are on me!

 

 

Sitting in a verrry hot room (no AC, heat wave) for Story Time with Holly.

 

 

So I spent all week writing "The Man from Laramie," and then on the weekend I decided to write a different story about a girl witch. Sometimes stories just don't percolate. In that sense, I think Clarion might be tough for people who can't write quickly. Also started playing around with new pens that unfortunately bled and smeared like crazy.

 

 

I ended up spending all of Saturday/Sunday morning with friends visiting from LA. I found that having that little bit of time away from writing like that (not a big trip like San Francisco) actually helped with the stress/tunnel vision. After they left, I spent Sunday night reading with the crew in Christian and David's room. Which brings us to the end of Week 2! Click here for Week 3.

 

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