December 16, 2009
First Semester MFA Takeaways
Remove dust jackets from hardcover books before use;
Drafts should be completed and started over from the remembered remnants;
“Real writing” takes place over winter break;
Anxiety is normal and should be encouraged (i.e. the productive kind);
Workshop leaders will continue to confuse first-person narrators with their progenitors — even in graduate school;
Writing about one’s homeland is one’s birthright and opens the deepest, most intimate veins of narrative; (Where is my homeland?)
Proper literary criticism assumes an author anticipated and intended all undergraduate-level interpretations;
Plot problem? Have sex/a gunman enter a room/leave a room;
Write with AUTHORITY;
Telling is quicker than showing;
Columbia MFA work goes in the priority pile (what is the priority pile?);
One can assume that strangenesses that don’t quite cohere to a narrative are taken directly from an author’s life.
More as I think of it….