Welcome to Paducah Prose Writers!

We are looking for writers who need a little constructive critisizm and can dish it out as well as take it. If I'm talking about you, bring a few pages of anything (the good, the bad, and the really rough drafts) and read for us. And don't worry, we're all as shy, nervous, and scared as you are!
All gramatical geniuses, professional editors, and english majors are also welcome, no reading submissions required.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Literature as a high art

I am currently taking English 161 through the community college. It is an analytical literature class where elements of story are broken down and picked to pieces. Since I have almost worked up the courage to tell my family that I want to be a writer when I grow up (at 31 and the mother of 2 I would have thought this would have already happened- growing up, I mean).

Patience has suggested I share what I am learning. Which I will happily do, though I promise no great insights or comprehension. For today, I will make a list of what I have learned in the last couple of weeks.

1. "Real" literature is depressing. Okay, I already knew that, I hated everything they made me read in high school except "To Kill a Mockingbird".

2. What a short story consists of. Everyone else in the world probably already knew this, but I couldn't quite piece together a complete tale that wasn't full on novel. I think that a short story is more than just a scene out of someone's life, but a scene or compilation of short scenes that holds some true human meaning. That's why a guy driving to town isn't a story, but a guy driving to town to kill a bunch of people at the mall and and accidentally shooting his own daughter is.

3. Reading Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" I learned that you can not only write in the collective We, but you can also skip around in a story without making the reader feel confused. (You know the sensation, "Wait, when am I again."

4. I am really not as smart as I thought I was. I am glad about that. I like learning. Learning gives me hope. Stephen King once wrote that a bad writer will never be a good writer and that a good writer will never be a great writer. While I do believe that you have to be willing to work hard and have some aptitude toward the written word, He is wrong. At least a bad writer can become good. And how many "great" writers are there anyway.

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