Creativity Magazine

Appreciation--Paying It Forward

By Vickilane

Appreciation--Paying It Forward

I received the following email recently. This is the sort of thing that makes a teacher grin with delight. And feel the need to pay it forward.

Hey Vicki,

This is ____ from your early June class at John C. Campbell last year.  I feel considerably accomplished as I have recently completed the rough draft of my manuscript. Things started clicking in my brain just recently and I wrote the last twelve chapters in 8 weeks (out of 38). Understand, this draft is so rough, even you might get splinters just reading about it.
After completing your class, I felt terribly inadequate, not because I hadn't learned anything, but because I had learned so much. First, I came to the conclusion that I really didn't have a book, but a collection of stories that were associated with each other by character and setting. The collection had no significant meaning and no character arcs. I didn't do any writing for a couple of months while I let this problem stew. Then, like a 200 car train, I delved back into it with slight hints as to how to make these stories coalesce into a story were everything was related to each other: each chapter, paragraph and sentence was integral to the story line and contributed to the emotion building, resolution and character arc of a grand story!  Ok, Ok, if I can't get excited about my book, then who is.
I am editing all prior chapters, written ages ago, for content consistency. At 105,000 words, the process of winnowing out has begun. My aim is for 95,000. I'm on chapter 5 of this process and have only reduced it by 1,500 words.  I know I have some upcoming chapters that will yield better numbers.
Also, I have found a critique group since the beginning of the year. We have 3 very purposeful participants, including myself. And there are 3 dabblers. I am seeing some benefit and will hang in there.
I appreciate you and your lessons. Thanks so much for being accepting to all. 

Appreciation--Paying It Forward
Wasn't that nice? Now I need to do the same.

I doubt I have any teachers still living. Wait, not so. There's the fella who taught the Writing Fiction That Sells class that got me started. Perhaps I can track him down and send him an appreciative note. 

And Herself, the redoubtable editor of my six Goodweather novels. I learned more from her editing than a slew of classes could have taught me.

Okay,  done. I've emailed them both. Do you have teachers in your past that you appreciate? 

Appreciation--Paying It Forward

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