Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Take a bow

Well, we’ve had a scintillating three sessions of storytelling to end the WIP programme this year. I was particularly pleased at the progress made by the people who stuck with it against all odds, especially one person who struggled and struggled through the course but in the end came up with a WINNER. It definitely showed me that the course IS making a difference, and that there is a qualitative difference between people who attended class and worked hard at their writing and those who didn’t. There were of course others who attended class but didn’t listen to repeated suggestions from me and from the class that their stories weren’t working: my sympathies, guys, because I know how hard it is to pay attention to the reader and take the necessary knife to your creation. Nevertheless, falling in love with your story doesn’t do it any good. You just end up spoiling it rotten.

There was also a demonstration of the truism that SOME writers are born, not made, and will come through with a stunning piece even if they have attended no classes. This is in spite of having been utterly clueless in the first couple of sessions. Although ‘making’ is a relative term: the true writer goes on making him/herself, no matter what shit goes down, no matter how good life is. The business of writing goes on 24/7, and only a little of it is actually to do with paper and silicon. I respect that: like I said, the class is only one way of becoming a writer. If you can do it on your own, so much the more credit to you. But it’s a rare person who can do it, and for every one, there’s a dozen who think they can but can’t. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference, but in the end it’s the readers – millions of them, over decades – who decide who’s a writer and who isn’t.

But that aside, even if no one in this batch becomes a WRITER, you’ll all have become better at telling stories, and hopefully you’ll all have had fun in spite of the hard slog we’ve had to do.

And so to next year …

I was also very pleased (yay!) with the very good audience response we had, full house every day in spite of classes and class tests. Thank you, people, for making the event a success.

All the stories were good. Some were brilliant. Only one disappointed a little. You’ll all find out which in a month or so…

In the meantime, visitors to this blog, please feel free to comment on the final presentations, give me suggestions for making it better, or anything that comes to mind.

7 comments:

Elendil said...

I greatly enjoyed the few stories I managed to hear. I was particularly struck by Babelfish's one and the long-ish one about storytelling. Can't wait to be in WIP myself.

the wizard of az said...

We want a workshop again. Ma'am please!!!

Erythrocyte said...

@ wiz
Good idea. let's try for one this summer. who do you want as workshopper?

Elendil said...

Why can't weeeeee (UG1s) do this?! Boo hoo! We can write toooo! Maybe you could ask for something we have written as a test to see if we're deserving?

Erythrocyte said...

Well, the idea was the course would be for people getting ready to leave and start careers as writers. But the workshops are open to all, so you can sign up for them. We've had one so far with Amitav Ghosh. I don't know if we can ask him back again; he's a busy man. If you have any faves we could ask, give me suggestions. Alternatively, if we can't find anyone, I'll take it myself. We usually have it in the summer.

the wizard of az said...

You could bring anybody you like or hold it yourself. I'm fine with anybody.
Last time we had different people with a variety of stories with (vastly) varying takes on people's stories. That's the kind of thing I'd love to have again.

powderpink said...

:-)
"Crises and dead-locks when they occur have at least this advantage: They force us to think."
and, god did i hav to think!
thank you.