Making Katay

9 06 2009

I am the worst critic, opting for either empty, sheepish and uneducated dithering (which I’m pretty damn sure is the result of my non-Lit major, non-MA-ing person, a state that I am fine with save for, yes, those moments when I am faced with a friend, his/her brand-new poem or story or essay, and the great gusts of expectancy he/she breathes in my direction), or its opposite: total annihilation, the severity rendered unconsciously until I see tears or an acceptance of having lost his/her soul coming from said friend, at which point I slow down and try to remember how to look kind-hearted.

Others, however, are awesome at it, and below are some actual notes written on workshop class manuscripts:

“Is this a typo or are you being experimental?”

“When this character says things like ‘my sweaty balls,’ he needs to say them more awkwardly.”

“I wonder if the sentence about killing pregnant women is too much, or if it should just be explained more.”

“You talk about pregnant raindrops and chaos and auditory canals and ‘the passing of time’ as ‘an orifice,’ when you could really just be talking about humidity and ears.”

“The one small area where I questioned the narrator’s voice was in the section about the bathtub when he explicitly mentioned his shriveled penis and his use of prostitutes.”

“Apes, aliens, then dead vampire family = too much Sci-Fi.”

“You should really think about what it’s like to find your daughter in bed with a butcher knife before you do the rewrite of this.”

“There should be a moment of deep consciousness when this character is hit with the taser gun. Maybe he can recall having sex a few hours ago while being tased?”

“It’s your story, your voice, your choices, and I don’t want to question them, but why these words?”

More here.




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