Clarion South – Day 2

Otherwise known as the day purple prose was trampled into dust. The critique on Singing in Prague was a fascinating experience, one I was more comfortable sitting through than when I had to deliver a negative critique.

Overall, the consensus seems to be that the story was overwritten and there are a number of plot points that need strengthening, but I’m also pleased to say I drew some absolutely glowing praise, particularly relating to the central idea. I now have a stack of manuscripts with oodles of handwritten notes that I will need to sort through. A few of the suggestions struck chords of truth, and I will likely explore them in the near future.

Afterwards, I had my private session with Sean Williams. Unfortunately he was not privy to the Clarion submission stories (including Hear No Evil, Firewall and Practical Joke), so I couldn’t get into details about my writing – strengths, weaknesses etc. Instead we had an enjoyable chat about novel publishing, international markets, and conventions. It seems I’ve done my homework, as I either expected or knew most of the answers, but at least it’s good to have this knowledge confirmed by an expert.

I quickly completed the editing of the four stories up for critiquing tomorrow, which seems to put me in the minority (at least on my floor). I’m glad to say all the Shadowed Realms and Alternative Time editing has paid off, and I’m flying through the editing part with no headaches or other pains. Strangely, it’s the writing that’s causing me grief.

I have a bundle of research on my first at-Clarion story (Room Two, or perhaps renamed to The Cutting Room) but I’m having a hard time envisioning the plot. I might even resort to a shifting point of view between two characters to get the job done. I don’t know why I’ve picked this one as a starter, but it’s sitting there taunting me now, so I have to finish it. Maybe this is the story that will get a rise from my fellow Clarionites. Time will tell.

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