The class is Advanced Novel Writing, hosted by Writers Online Workshops. The first assignment, due December 16th, was the first 10,000 words of a novel. The second, due, January 6th, was the next 10,000 words. Each was to be a MAXIMUM of 10,000 words. But, of course, to benefit most from the class, it made sense to submit as much writing as possible.
I had the first assignment pretty well finished prior to the start date. But then the holidays happened, and I didn't get going on the second assignment until January 2nd. Since then, I have met my New Year's Resolution daily word count goal of 1200 words, and then some, submitting nearly 6700 words at 11:55PM yesterday (the deadline was midnight).
But I have to admit, I feel like something of a failure. Not only did I fall short with the word count on the assignment I just submitted, I wasn't at all happy with the writing. Maybe it has potential, but right now it is kind of a mess. The pace is slow; the dialogue needs work. The feedback on the first assignment was that the story really didn't get started until the second chapter, and that I consider flipping Chapter One and Chapter Two. I see the wisdom; I will try that. But right now it's all I can do to get the story on paper. Then I will go back and make it pretty.
Although I wouldn't want anybody besides my teacher and my virtual classmates to see my work at this point, I am thankful for the class and the opportunity to share it with them. Because it is hard for me to be objective about my own work.
On a bad day, I think I am just kidding myself. I am not a writer at all. I never will be.
But on a good day, I think maybe all writers go through this. Writing and rewriting. Because sometimes I am convinced I have the beginnings of a really good story. And maybe if I persevere, I will eventually get it right.
Writing is an art. But it is also a craft. And can improve my craft with practice.
Tomorrow, I am going to write 1200 words, come hell or high water. (Or snow on the ground, which is the more likely scenario).