Saturday, March 18, 2006


Readings and Revisions

Listening to The Frogs' My Daughter, The Broad.

For my seminar this quarter, I was lucky enough to have a teacher who is very MFA friendly, so much that she allowed us to write narratives for our papers, with an introduction relating to the theory or books we've read.

First, that was strange writing an analysis of my own text. It felt very self-conscious. But was it was interesting, once I put it down on paper, how much the theory crap lined up with my text.

So Thursday night, as a final class, all the students met at our teacher's house. We had a reading there. So I selected a section of my text that I had submitted for workshop recently. I made a lot of edits, but it's still nowhere near done.

The most amazing thing was sitting there reading it, I immediately knew what was wrong with it. I knew what sections to cut (which I skipped while I read) and which needed to be shortened. It was that feeling, that awareness of the audience, their undeniable presence in the room that called my attention to everything that needed to be taken out, at least. I didn't get a sense of what needed to be put in, that might be a little trickier.

So I think I'll keep that feeling in mind when I'm revising on my own. Try to find a way to recreate that natural sense of audience, even when I'm alone. When I'm alone, I'm much more wrapped up in my head, locked into what the things on the paper mean to me.

Reading out loud works somewhat, but it’s more than just that—that only gets at the sentence level, hearing if they sound right.

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