Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Barty and Friends

So Barty came back from Vermont yesterday!

My manuscript, along with 10 others, came back to me bound in a booklet. My job is to read the other 10 and prepare for a discussion/critique. And this is the way that we all learn: by reading other works-in-progress, and seeing what works and what doesn't, and discussing the manuscripts as a group led by one of the instructors at Vermont.

This is no different from the kind of literary analysis we all learn in high school and college, really, except that we are looking for specific things - character development, plot, description, voice - and trying to help strengthen one another's manuscripts.

In fact, literary analysis is a big part of the Vermont program. The applications requires a literary analysis essay. I found it a lot of fun to write - I looked at the middle grade book Clementine which some critics suggested was "plotless" and discussed what I viewed as the plot. I chose that topic because I thought it might help Barty! Well, if it did, it evidently wasn't enough.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to my homework.


PJ Hoover said...

I love your organization tips! They are perfect, and I can't wait to share them with my son.
I'm going to a three day workshop end of the month and have a stack of manuscripts to critique before them also. But I have 30!!!!! Ack. It starts on a Friday, so I plan to start on them that Monday so they're fresh.
Although thinking about it, maybe I should start sooner rather than later.
But you're so right. It's a great way to help our own writing by looking at other's.

Janet Fox said...

Thanks, PJ! I hope they work for him. They seemed to help mine, although every few months we need to refresh...:)

30 manuscripts! Whoa. I thought 10 was a lot. I'm assuming it's for the conference you posted? That sounds like fun - I'm hoping we'll see each other at one of these soon!

Sarah said...

I got my "booklet" yesterday--had it shipped to my sister's house because of our moving situation. I'm trying to figure out what to do with the picture books in mine. The official learning process begins. :)

See you in just over two weeks.

Janet Fox said...

Hey Sarah!
Been gone awhile on vacation...but also reading the work. There are some stellar things there, stuff that makes me go, whoa.
Now only a few days to the rez!