Week Four Instructor: Susan Palwick
Week Four Instructor’s Superpower: Empathy. We got into some deep shit about trauma and Big Feelings and how it’s our responsibility as speculative fiction writers to offer people hope, and not just trendy ironic bleakness. I can be ironic and bleak with the best of them but that’s not my writing, not 100% of the time.
Unexpected Week Four Discoveries: My experiment for last week was to see if I could take an emotional kernel, build a metaphor over it, and work backwards from that. Usually I do the opposite, with the metaphor and plot there first, and I don’t figure out what I’m really trying to talk about until, like, draft three. There’s not enough time for that in a week. Last week’s story (which ended up being called Epitome, if you’re wondering) was the most successful I’ve written here, in terms of my classmates’ critiques. Susan seemed to really like it as well.
Week Four Story Wordcount, Current: 3300 out of probably 6k
Week Four Story Title: The Kingdom Eternal
Week Four Bummer: We are now counting down towards the end. Time feels finite. It makes me sick to my stomach that this isn’t forever.
Week Four Highlight: Skyping with Neil Gaiman? Bumping in to Kij Johnson at Greg Bear’s house? Drunk texting Andy Duncan? This whole week has been fucking surreal.