Writing Wrongs

June 03, 2005

This happens every once in a while in an online writing class. You (or someone) posts a lesson and no one says a thing. Now if there isnít any activity, thatís one thing. But! If your classmates are conversing and providing feedback around you, well . . .

You start searching for that elephant you left in the living room, cuz darn it, it must be there somewhere.

I facilitate a mystery class--not teach, instead I provide assistance, answer questions, post links to mystery and writing related articles. And try to subtly kick rear ends when something like this happens during the course. (And Iím not sure itís truly possible to ďsubtlyĒ kick someoneís rear end.)

If nothing else, itís rude to take feedback but not provide any. Second, we writers can be an insecure lot and what isnít said is sometimes worse than what is (although I must stress the sometimes in that sentence).

Well, darn if it didnít happen to me this week, too. So now Iím trying to figure out what sort of elephant is in my living room, cuz itís there. I know it. Thing is, this is an ďeasyĒ course, all about finding your (writing) voice, and this lesson is all of 200 words long. A real no-brainer. Thereís no right or wrong, no scene structure to analyze or character motivation to dissect. Itís all ďfree to be you and meĒ type of stuff that honestly doesnít require much more than ďnice jobĒ in the feedback department.

And yet! I have no feedback. Iíve provided feedback to one participant and Iím on the fence about the other. She posted after me, so do I wait to see if she decides to give feedback (like she did for the other person), or go ahead and respond to her lesson and maybe ďguiltĒ her into reading mine.

The only thing I can come up with is the little snippet I posted involves people taking off their clothes. (Gasp!) The actual story is about a high school football star who comes back to his hometown after a twelve year absence and meets up with his almost-but-not-quite high school sweetheart.

And yeah, clothes get removed. (Uh, theyíre just doing laundry. I swear it!) But itís written in first person, from his perspective. In the snippet, Iím not 100% sure itís clear the narrator is male.

To which I say: itís 2005. Deal with it.

Now watch. As soon as I post this mini-rant, Iíll get my feedback.

~ Off to search for that elephant.

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 11:14 a.m.