Last weekend, I took the Short Story Intensive class with Mary Robinette Kowal. This prevented my normal blog update, but I assure you it was worth it!
I was most familiar with her due to her work on the Writing Excuses podcast. If you’re a writer and haven’t tried that out, please do so as it is excellent. She writes novels and short stories and is also a voice actor and puppeteer. Today she live-tweeted during the spacewalk because she knows things, like the people in the red shirts stay inside the ship.
My schedule for my novel hoped for the third draft to be complete by the start of June, allowing me all month to focus on something else while beta readers had the draft. My goal was to work on a short story this month, and thus I jumped at the chance to take the class when it came across in email.
The draft is not on schedule. This isn’t surprising as this is exactly the first time I’ve ever written a third draft, but it has been somewhat frustrating. It was nice to take a weekend off and focus on something else creative instead. As an added bonus, I walked away with a completed draft of a 3000-word short story. This is the same story I’d hoped to write over the whole month of June!
It was a wonderful class, and if you’d like some fantastic information about short stories, then you should consider the course. We did several exercises and then concluded with an actual draft. Each exercise was critiqued by two other classmates as well as Mary Robinette. This wasn’t as stressful as it sounds, and not nearly as bad as reading out loud like I did in Dallas.
I found a lot that applied to my novel, as well. The class has reenergized me this week, and I’ve accomplished a lot both in my writing and my mindset. I think the rest of the draft will speed up as a result. I can hope!
The only downside to the class (which was announced and anticipated) was the sheer amount of time taken. I estimate it took up at least 25 hours of my weekend, perhaps closer to 30. I didn’t go anywhere or do anything other than eat, sleep, and the class aside from an hour to go to Mass. I didn’t get my normal amount of sleep either, which made the writing all the more interesting. She does have the class on her Patreon, if you’re interested in a version with a slower pace.
Long story short, you should definitely consider the class!