Friday, March 1, 2013

On Bibliographies for Creative Writing

First I want to thank you all for your kind words at the passing of my brother-in-law.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the requirement in my class to do an annotated bibliography for a creative reading and my bewilderment about how that would go down and concern that we may have to do that in all of the writing classes in this program.

I met with my professor this week.  She said it's just an exercise for this class because we need to be able to do bibliographies in general.  Most of the people in my class, Intro to Graduate Studies, are not on the Creative Writing track.  She's just letting the "creative" people read a creative piece at the mini-conference instead of making us do a research paper.  She said this would generally not be required in the writing workshop classes, which is good.

I decided to use a chapter in my last novel where I need to do a little research on mental illness and the meds my MC would be taking.  The novel is almost done, and I'd probably feel relatively comfortable reading it to a crowd of students and professors.  The chapter I picked was funny in my mind - it's a dark comedy, so it's a dark kind of funny. 

This morning I read that section of the novel because I have to commit to the project tomorrow with some amount of detail. 

When I read it, I cried. In the scene right before the funny part I wanted to use, the husband of my MC's best friend talks about his wife dying.  She had died the day before in the MC's apartment.  The reason she's taking the meds is because she's overcome with grief.  There's no getting around talking about death.

There's no way in hell I'm reading that section.

I panicked for a few minutes and then decided to use the first ten pages of my new WIP, which is historical fiction and lends itself to research.  I'll use this research opportunity to decide on the exact setting and whether it will take place in a real coal town or one I make up.  I was planning on visiting the county where the story is set at the end of March anyway.  It will be more work than I intended to do for this project since the opening chapter isn't close to being done, but it will definitely be less painful.

11 comments:

  1. I'm sorry that piece isn't a good fit now. You don't need that added stress and emotion right now though. Sounds like you have a good replacement.

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    1. I think this is probably the least of my problems right now. At least I realized what was before and after the 'funny' part before I committed to it.

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  2. Belated condolences on the passing of your brother-in-law. I must have missed that post. Glad to hear school is still going well!

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  3. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I think your WIP sounds very interesting. I wish I could attend the reading!

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    1. Thanks. That would be awesome if you could be there!

      The professors for the graduate program are going to be like the judges on American Idol and give an on-the-spot critique in front of everyone. It would be cool if one of them was like Nicki Minaj. I think she would tell me I'm kind of odd but it works for me. :)

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  4. It'll be okay, Tonja.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear about your brother-in-law, Tonja. I didn't see your post last week. My sincere condolences to you and your family, so sorry.

    Sorry you had to make changes to your plans but it sounds like the new project will be great for the reading. Take care!

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  6. Oh, Tonja--I'm so sorry I missed your last post. My condolences to you and your family at this time.

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  7. Hi Tonya, You're probably making a wise decision in changing pieces for your project. You should do one that you are comfortable with doing in front of an audience. Hopefully, time and lots of hugs will make this less painful.

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  8. Hi Tonja, I missed your last post. So sorry for your loss, and sending you my best wishes and prayers.

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