July 19, 2009

Flash Fiction Workshop: Day 3

Okay, so the workshop finished on Thursday night, but I didn't get back to Austin until late that evening, and on Friday I had to head to work, and Saturday was a day of work/dance rehearsal, so this is the first moment I've had to sit down and blog about it.

Anyway, Thursday's session was fantastic! This was my first time doing real workshopping in probably four years, so I was a little nervous at first. But my classmates were all great, and we provided each other with fantastic feedback. Plus, it was fun to see what we had developed over the course of a few days. The experience made me realize just how helpful workshops are, and that I don't need to be nervous - everyone is there to support each other as artists, not tear each other down.

I also got a very uplifting email from my instructor this morning, encouraging to send one of my workshop pieces out once it's finished; it's nice to have that kind of follow-up.

After three days, I came away with nine new pieces. Two are almost ready to send out as-is; they need a little more adjustment, and then I'm set to send them out. There are two more that I don't plan to do anything with; they're duds that I wrote to fulfill an exercise and get my brain going so I could write something better. And there are five more that are not ready yet, but all have potential, and just need some intense revision.

All in all, I'm very glad I had the opportunity to take this workshop. I'm not sure if I'll do a Gemini Ink workshop next year, but I would definitely consider it. I say I'm not sure just because there are a couple of other summer workshops I would love to do as well, and due to both time and money I just cannot do everything. This workshop wasn't totally what I expected, but I gave some constructive criticism in my class evaluation, and all in all I enjoyed working with my classmates. Plus, I developed a lot of new work in a short span of time. Definitely a worthwhile experience.


stu said...

Getting new work out of it is useful, but I suspect the most important question is whether you learned anything new, because that will still be having an effect long after these nine pieces are gone.

Dorla Moorehouse said...

That's a good point.

I think what I learned in the workshop were ways I could blend genres into flash fiction. Most of the flash I have written up to this point is a straight-up, classic story. Beginning, middle, and end. But we talked a lot about how flash fiction could intersect with things such as prose poetry. I've been developing some new ideas about that since the workshop. It provided a good jumping-off point for the ways in which I think about the genre.