Maria Hummel termed my novel beginning (first 15 pg sample) "ominous and electric." I love that. I know it's crap-ola, in as far as it's just a very rough start but I love that - ominous and electric. How cool. :D
She sort of imagined it was more ominous than it was but that's okay. It is
ominous, very. But she thought my main character was lying once when he wasn't.
I still chuckle when I see tapati
's bland facial expression (in my memory) when I read out loud one excerpt a week or so ago when she visited (the first excerpt, not the second which you liked more and frankly I liked writing it more). Honest feedback is good feedback. In that instance I learned that I was stretching it out too long and boring and needed to cut it into chunks and add an omnicient (that's not the exact word is it?) point of view.
Another friend of mine said listening to my novel was completely distracting - she couldn't concentrate on the point. I laughed and said, "Welcome to the inside of my head!" But seriously, I read another classmates work and she did a lot of that and I was frustrated. I saw exactly what my friend meant. These are all good learning experiences.
I've been reading a Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine D'Engle for inspiration, since the characters in that book travel through a "Wrinkle" to get to an alternate reality or a planet in a far distant galaxy. This class has really helped me in so many ways because I'm learning how to critique works. I'm noticing things that I never did notice before about writing style, how to begin and end a chapter, metaphor, dialogue, etc.
I wish all I had to worry about was my Ph.D. upcoming in the fall and G.'s homework and things like that. The special ed/legal thing is going to be torment. I'm not looking forward to putting my novel down so I can pick up Wright's Law.