July 6th, 2004

Clarion, Day 31

My steampunk time-travel romance got beaten up pretty badly in crit circle this morning.

I went down to the St. James Infirmary
Saw my story there
She stretched out in the Kappa House crit room
So cold, so sweet, so fair
Most of the problems mentioned I was aware of, some are solvable, some may be insolvable. Gordon has been banging on the grounding thing, so I grounded the story hard in the first two paragraphs, and virtually everyone, including Gordon hated it. Okay, so I overdid it. I grounded it so hard it never got airborne and crashed into the grove of trees at the end of the runway.

One problem I had not anticipated was the language, which many people didn't like. It's fairly formal. To me, the language is part of the voice and tone of this story, and any other diction would just feel wrong. *fret*

Nikki Kimberling had a great idea of how to deal with a particular character problem by condensing two characters into one, several others agreed, and I thought it was an excellent idea myself, then Kelly Link said she'd prefer to keep the second character, she liked his quirkiness. Groan. Now what?

Right now I'm just feeling suicidally depressed about the story, about writing in general, Clarion, and the future of human life on earth.


Kelly Link handed out free copies of Lady Churchill's No. 13 this morning in crit circle. 1/8 of the contributors are mutual LJ friends, and one made the front cover. Eek!


Conference with Gordon Van Gelder last night. Reviewed my stories. He had read them all, my two submission stories, and the four I had written at Clarion. Wow. Thanks! No, he didn't want to buy any of them. He thinks all the genitalia in a couple of the Clarion-written stories may be a problem, in terms of finding a market. He was the toughest of any critic so far on "Du Bist Der Lenz", and no, he doesn't think foreign language titles usually work, either. Interestingly, he thought 1) they were all genre (even the surreal postal delivery story and the horny-bonobos-in-the-boardroom story), and 2) they all sounded like me. I've been saying 'I haven't found my voice yet' to a lot of people, and I *thought* I had written a bunch of very different-sounding stories. Maybe I've found my voice after all. Or maybe I should just stop caring about finding my voice, and just write what I want to write.


Watched The Big Tease with the gang last night. Funny movie, a Spinal Tap-like mock documentary about a Scottish hairdresser who comes to LA.
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