I woke up this morning with absolutely nothing to do. Well, except move. Oh, and read submissions for Likely Red Magazine, an online literary magazine that just released its first issue this week. And I need to job hunt. And promote my blog on social media. And work on more content for here and possibly a few other blogs. Oh and write more on my novel manuscript and edit some of my short stories. It’s getting to be about time to submit some of them to other journals and publishers, too. You know what? I guess I have a lot of crap I need to work on. And Now that my classes
In college fiction writing classes, there’s one thing you’ll do a lot, and that’s workshopping short stories. I’ve written a lot of short stories and read a lot of short stories in classes and writers’ groups. In college, short stories are used for creative writing education because they’re short.
Short stories are short. That makes sense.
The reason creative writing professors need the stories they use to be short is because you spend most of your time in creative writing classes workshopping your fellow students’ short stories. In return, they workshop yours. Workshopping short stories can be a very helpful tool, not only when you’re starting out with creative writing, but throughout your creative writing life.
Here’s the thing about me and workshops:
People who let me workshop their stories don’t like me after I give back their story. I scratch things out on the page if they’re boring, if they do something that pulls me out of the story, or if I know that the sentence could be better. I scratch things out a lot more if what I’m reading is a short story. Short stories don’t linger.
Here’s my damn paper, where I compare Jack London’s stories to Shakespearean tragedies for some reason, because it seemed like a good idea at the time. I turned it in today.
Both endings to Jack London’s “The Law of Life” and “To Build A Fire” are tragedies on a narrative, stylistic, and technical level as modeled by Shakespeare’s tragedies themselves, which have proven to be fit to the literary environment for centuries. London’s stories end in a tragic manner that leaves each of the protagonists with a moment of deeper understanding before their deaths. The narrative of these two stories are naturalistic and the deaths of the protagonists are brought about because of the characters’ deviation from the social order and unwillingness to accept that they’re not in control of their fates as human beings in the harsh reality of the cutthroat world of natural selection.