What to work on first term
I made a startling discovery this evening. I will very likely not be allowed to work on my in progress mystery novel--not for credit at least. Apparently the faculty much prefer (and some insist) that we first term students work on something completely new. Maybe this is true for the older students too. I don't know. But I wish I'd known this coming in. I like time to mull over ideas and figure out what to write next.
Not that I'm a controlling Taurus or anything.
I'm trying to go with the flow. One of the older students in my workshop said that Marion Dane Bauer likes to have her first semester students work on short stories so they learn narrative arc.
And I hear that advisors work with their students' interests. I won't be forced to write picture books, for example. Which is lucky because I'd flee in terror.
When Phyllis Root discussed the requirements of the creative thesis the other night, which we complete during our fourth semester, she mentioned that for novelists that would be about 75 pages of publishable quality. Absolutely doable, I thought. When she said the equivalent for picture book writers would be about eight picture books, I recoiled in horror.
I've had one picture book idea on my own and my sister and I wrote one together. That's it. I have lots of ideas for novels, some memoirs, and even some non-fiction and short stories. But picture books? Takes a different kind of writer than I seem to be.