I made the above assertion today at the closing session of the short story boot camp in Vienna. Being in the company of some very motivated writers (and not painters), no one took fierce objection to the observation or supportive argument:
A painter can immediately see their entire composition on their canvas. The writer’s canvas is the imagination, which can only be gleaned piecewise through their text.
Little wonder that many writers find it challenging to see the bigger picture, to observe their entire composition objectively. In the short story boot camp though, writers developed their compositions—from a few sketches (first drafts), to their final “masterpiece”. They neither got lost in the words nor forgot their grand design.
As the boot camp writing coach I had the pleasure of listening to the final stories. The reading session lasted over 2 hours and yet it felt like a few fleeting minutes. Every writer put in not only a great deal of time and effort, but also put their heart into their story. Everyone, I am certain, gained confidence with their writing.
The closing boot camp session closely follows the last creative writing session (last weekend) for spring. The creative writing session was just plain fun! We wrote a group song (and sang it), explored poetry, speculative fiction, and some flash fiction. All of this in the space of a couple of hours! I think everyone was positively “buzzing” with creative energy at the end.
Over the summer break I’ll be preparing new material for creative writing and short story programs for the fall. The information should be up around the end of July. If you’re in Vienna then, I hope to see you there.
Until then, enjoy your summer!