I’ve returned from the Viable Paradise workshop, and now that I am somewhat less sleep-deprived, I have thoughts.
- Viable Paradise is awesome. Those who are working to break into the SFF field should apply.
- It is intense. Eat a cookie if you need to. (Mac will ensure there is a cookie or other treat suitable for anyone with dietary restrictions. Mac is awesome.)
- It is intense. Sleep if you need to.
- It is intense. Ask one of the staffers for a hug if you need to.
- Writing is subjective. Most people probably know this before attending any sort of workshop, but the subjectivity is reiterated when two instructors have opposite reactions to your work. Both reactions are valid.
- Unenthusiastic reactions can point out where the work needs improvement.*
- Enthusiastic reactions can show you what not to “fix” and of course strengthens the happyshiny “this doesn’t suck! I can write stuff that people like!” validation.
- Your fellow students are all talented writers whose work will likely incite feelings of impostor syndrome in you. This is normal, and is probably happening to them, as well.
- The instructors’ lectures and colloquiums are knowledge-bombs of goodness. If you cannot adhere to the Aristotelian ideal of memorizing everything, prepare for your hand to cramp up from scribbling notes.
*Assuming, of course, that the suggested feedback makes sense to the writer and can help refine the work closer to the writer’s vision rather than change it entirely. At VP, feedback tends to be of the former variety.
Specific to me
- I can write a short story in less than three days. It won’t be perfect, but it will have a beginning, middle, and end, and it will provide a
- Sleep deprivation can apparently make me funnier in writing, but it also comes close to eliminating my ability to form coherent sentences out loud.
- When venturing to the East Coast, I need to use much more hair gel than I do in Colorado. Duly noted.
- If I had a wayback machine, VP is one of the first places I’d return to. I’m sad it’s over.