Milford science fiction writers workshop 2016

Milford 2016 has ended and I’ve now made my way home.  It’s been an intense week, catching up with old friends and making new friends, talking late into the night and groaning over puns that snuck in under the radar.  As always, it’s been a superb experience and you can get a day by day summary of the action by going to the Milford blog.

Over the course of the week, we discussed 25 pieces totalling approximately 190 000 words (and I think everyone read all the pieces twice), and yeah, the drive home gave me some time to start working my head back into the real world.  What to read next was one of the topics of conversation and so I’ve added a few (more) books to my ever growing pile of things to read.

Both of my pieces got a good reception and some excellent suggestions, and so the work for the next few weeks is to do the necessary revisions and send them out.  One will be revised and out by the end of September, a challenge given that we’re moving very quickly to the beginning of the new academic year but I WILL, and the second by the end of October.

And yes, please feel free to poke me and ask me how the revisions and submissions are going.

But what I wanted about is something a bit different, which is a realisation that I had on the way home.  It’s a realisation about writing but not only about writing.  It has connections both to teaching, both mathematics and aikido, and to writing mathematics.  Audience.

A lot of the discussion about the pieces focused implicitly, if such a thing is possible, on how the audience might read the piece.  When I do the writing I do, I spend a lot of time thinking about it will be read, but there is always more to be done.  Use of words out of the vernacular, the clever stylistic idiosyncrasies that I like and that my readers find annoying, and all of the things that contribute to the difference between the story I’ve taken from my head and put on paper, and the story that my readers read.

And so in revising my stories, I’ll bear in mind the comments both specific and general that I’ve acquired over the course of the week.  And as I work on finalising the notes for my class this coming semester (just two weeks until the first lecture – gaak), I will be mindful of the fact that I’m writing for a group of people that won’t have encountered any of it before, whereas I’m on my fifth trip through MATH3033 and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking through the theorems and examples.

~ by Jim Anderson on 17 September 2016.

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