Class has now officially ended. I am so, so happy. I have met my goal of having a completed draft by the time I went to Los Angeles (next week!) and I am ready to start sending out proposals. I want to share what my teacher wrote to me as a final word on my progress as a novelist. She is a remarkable teacher, and if you live in the Seattle area and you are interested in perfecting your skills on the novel, you cannot do better than to take her program. If you are interested, check out the Publishing Institute at Bellevue Community College.
Michael, I am so pleased that you have finished your draft and that you are pleased with it yourself. I have talked with you about your plans and know you are going to get the full reads done and then move on from there. Ilike the changes you have made. I like the focus of the book now. I have always enjoyed the characters. Your writing is detailed, sensual and emotional. Now that you understand how to ground and how to elicit a response from the reader, I think you are unstoppable. I worry that you are your own worst enemy though and I hope, with all my heart, that you will believe in your work the way I do. That doesn’t mean everything is perfect, it means it is all viable and perfectible. Remember that your instincts are never wrong, only the words are wrong. And there are an infinite number of words to chose from, don’t take problems with words and equate them with something wrong with the work. That is never the case. Things do need tweaking and changing and sometimes, as you know, deleting. But your ideas, your vision, your images are always important, relevant and worthwhile. Know that you have support as you begin the next phase on this project. I will help you in any way that I can. I think all of us in the class and who know your writing are anticipating what will happen to this project next. (--Pamela R. Goodfellow)