Thursday, October 4, 2012

Blue Pencil Critique (short story) by Leanne Dyck

Inspired by...
Conquer Your Writing Weaknesses
I wrote...

Blue Pencil Critique

I eagerly signed up for my first blue pencil critique. We were instructed to email our short story to our critique partner a few weeks before the writing workshop. And I dreamed about an actual author reading my words.

The day of the writing workshop, I arrived early and was told to go to room 202-A. The room was empty--just me and mystery author Lou Allin. She'd been published, more than once. 

“Do you have two copies of your submission?” 

I handed her the pages and my excitement was gone--replaced by red face, hand trembling nerves. I sat down and waited for her to belt me in and flip the switch.

I'm not a writer. I don't know how to write. Why am I here? Why am I wasting her time?

I felt her eyes on my words and my stomach flipped.

“I know my writing needs a lot of help.” 

“Really? Actually, I thought it was--."

“I have dyslexia,” I blurted.

“Rather good.” She grinned. “Oh that explains the creative spelling.”

She placed the pages on the desk. “This is good. In fact, it’s one of the best submissions I’ve received.”

All I saw was a trail of red ink snaking down the page.

“It’s best to avoid… This piece could be a lot stronger if you… I think it would help if you…,” she said, dancing through the pages. Then she hit on something tender.

“Actually,” I began tentatively. “There was… That is to say…” I gulped. “May I do more than listen? I mean can I explain?”

Her eyes lifted from the paper and rested softly on my face. “Of course, Leanne." She smiled. "These are your words. You know the story better than I do. You know why you wrote it the way you did. Hold on to your vision. I’m only here to help.”