GC and I signed up for a short story writing course called Snapping the Sheet. It’s taught by Joanne Proulx, who wrote a novel called Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet, which is about a 17-year-old stoner who becomes known as The Prophet of Death.
The course consists of five weekly two-hour classes. The emphasis is on decluttering your writing. Snapping the sheet. Getting rid of excess adjectives and adverbs. Getting right to the heart of what you want to say and saying it.
The teacher’s very good and I’m learning useful things, but there are some structural problems with the course.
First of all, five classes is not enough. The course just began, and already it’s almost over.
There are fifteen students – five men, ten women. Each week we spend the first hour reading our work out loud and critiquing it. An hour isn’t long enough to read and critique the work of fifteen people, so we just do the most eager people. This tends to be the men, except for GC, who doesn’t want to be critiqued because he hasn’t done his homework.
Some of the women are eager too. I’m not one of them, even though I’ve done my homework. It’s not the critiquing that intimidates me, it’s the reading out loud. My throat constricts and I can’t simultaneously get words out and oxygen in. I never volunteer, and we tend to run out of time before I can be asked to read. This is good in a way, but not so good in another way.
My story is about two sisters who find something in the closet.