Thursday, May 10, 2007

litcritters

With the month of April behind us, the LitCritters can breathe a sigh of relief. We all finished our long form stories (minimum 7500 words) to varying degrees of success. For some of us, it was a battle with word count. For others, it was about reigning in the narrative. For others still, heady with the sudden opening of space, it was about knowing when and how to stop.

We wrote and read eight original stories in April, discussions of which took over our usual critique time. We took the stories apart to see where things worked and where they did not work, and everyone is in the process of rewriting (because "writing is rewriting", as one of my teachers used to say). There is a lot of work still to be done - and next year's task is a novel.

Prima Anatomica's Amazing Thesis Statement by Andrew Drilon
Blogcaster by Alexander Osias
The Poet, the Journal and the Melancholy Sadness by Vin Simbulan
Country Music by Kenneth Yu
When We Were Witches by Nikki Alfar
Traps by Kate Aton-Osias
Strange Weather by Dean Francis Alfar
The Secret Love and Personal History of Tigulang, Liberator of Oriental Negros by Ian Rosales Casocot

As for me, I wrote a straight-up traditional fantasy with lots of action, magic and such. As usual, I'm not happy with it, but I think with judicious tweaks, it could actually be a fun read. I'm still wincing from one of the critic's statements: "it lacks gravity". But not every venture into spec fic needs to be an astoundingly subtle observation of the human condition, does it now?thinks Dean with a twinkle in his eye.

We're halfway through May now, and have taken to discussing some of our favorite stories by foreign authors. By next week, we'll return to the regular four story critiques, as we've done since last year.

Here's the reading list for the next couple of weeks:

Of Silence and Slow Time by Karawynn Long
Homo Karaoke by Jeff Noon
Plenty by Christopher Barzak
The Laughing Man by J.D. Salinger
The Company of Wolves by Angela Carter
Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway
Mateo Falcone by Merimee Prosper
Horatius and Claudia by Charlie Anders
Dusk by Jack Deighton

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