As anticipated, Donna's workshop was a total blast! All of us (14 women and one man) had one helluva time learning how to combine fiction and truth- to make our characters so real and flawed that they are, in the readers' eyes, like old friends. The exercises opened our minds and helped us to see that even our antagonists are human, somehow- take M, for instance. He's as whiny and annoying as they come, but there's a part of him that's real (and lovable), too- the awesome Lynn Casey and I talked about this over lunch, and the ensuing conversation was more amazing than even our cheeseburger-meals!
I love meeting other writers- hearing their stories, getting to know them and the passion they feel for their own projects. Assuming that we all become literary phenomena (sooner, rather than later), I will buy a copy of everyone's published work- including some 60 copies of my own, which I will display proudly whilst admiring my own artistic genius. Gotta have a sense of humour!
The most-important thing I learned today, though (besides that writers are awesome- d'uh), was rediscovering my voice. When we shared some of our work (exercises we'd done in class), I read a poetic prose-piece that I'd written about Ron/my bro-in-law, and Donna said:
"That's your voice right there. I hope that your entire novel is written like that because, if it isn't, you're going to have to rewrite every, single line!"
Did I mention that I love writers?
Off to rewrite every, single, damn line of that manuscript- it's not going to write itself, after all.