Monday, November 05, 2007

For My Students

Thank You

As I've mentioned before I've been teaching an advanced fantasy novel class over the last six weeks. The Thursday before last was my final day and I wanted to take a moment to thank my students for teaching me new things about writing and for their enthusiasm and commitment.

I had a great bunch of writers, every one of them serious about the craft and serious about getting everything they could from the class. They asked smart probing questions that pushed me to attempt smart and detailed answers. I hope that I managed to hit the bull's eye with at least a few of those. They also turned in some really amazing pieces the critiquing of which showed me some of my own blind spots and in particular helped me to a better understanding of synopses. In turn, I will share those things on this blog as I process them.

I teach very infrequently because if I'm going to do it right (and I insist on doing important things right to the best of my abilities) it takes significant time and brain space away from writing. And, first and foremost, I am a writer. At the same time, I find the teaching almost addictive. It is a joy to really throw myself into thinking about writing and publishing on the nitty-gritty level required to help my students make sense of it. And it is even more of a joy to work with so many talented young writers–young in terms of the publishing process that is.

A couple of my students are essentially there–only some unknown number of submissions and one lucky break away from a first novel sale. Others will need to hone their craft a bit more. All of them are in sight of their goals–good writers working hard with the near-term potential to cross the line from aspiring writer to published author. I very much look forward to watching them grow and congratulating them as they make sales in the future.

Thanks folks, you've been a joy to teach. I wish you the best of luck and all success.

4 comments:

Beth said...

Your students are lucky that you're willing to share your experience and knowledge with them, Kelly.

I finished WebMage last night, and truly enjoyed it. It's not a genre I usually read, but since you wrote it I was willing to give it a shot. And am glad I did! It's interesting from a reader's standpoint, as well as from a writer's. Got lost in the story, but also was able to step back and analyze the technical aspects.

I can't wait to start Cybermancy tonight!

And how cool is it to be able to tell a writer directly that you liked their book??

Kelly McCullough said...

Thanks Beth,

...for both sets of compliments. I hope you enjoy Cybermancy as well.

That coolness factor is one of the things I most love about writing. I get to hang out both virtually and occasionally in person with my heroes and feel that I have some small place in their midst.

Beth said...

You're welcome, Kelly. And I hope to be able to do the same someday! So far the electronic community has been supportive and inspiring...

lydamorehouse said...

You give your students your best? WTF?