So on to week three of this short story writing course. This looked at how to leave blanks in the narrative to allow the reader's imagination to work, another aspect I'd not really considered before.
There was also a short story from the tutor's own collection; chilling, but with a feast for the senses coupled with never actually mentioning the most important fact about the characters - this is worked out by the reader towards the end. Another example of the principle was in the link given to a prize-winning story, which again left me with a sense of satisfaction but wishful thinking about my own work.
The piece to submit was further work on the short story begun earlier. Having distilled the points from the two critiques, and absorbed the 'lesson' of this part of the course, I deleted some weak bits which didn't move the story forward or which told too much, tried to keep just the one point of view, and adjusted expressions which had tripped up the critics. By the time I'd done all the other exercises, I got round only to progressing the story a little further, and submitted it in the hope of more positive, less negative feedback this time.
I do get it, and realise how meandering and flat my earlier work has been. Spurred on by this, and by hearing that one of our Southampton Writing Buddies, Jacqueline Field, has just been shortlisted in the Writers' News competition (as well as another of her works being runner-up in one of their comps about 3 months ago), it's onwards and upwards at the half-way stage of the course.