I took a course in Dramatic Writing when I was pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree. For one of my assignments, I wrote Garrett and Julia, a story about a woman in her early thirties marrying a much older man who had been married twice before. Wife number two was wreaking havoc on the couple. I wrote a scene for the assignment in the form of a stage play.
In workshop, one of my classmates tore my story apart so badly that it took me two days to recover and still stings when I think about it. I don’t recall what was said exactly because it was something I didn’t want to remember. I took the few pieces of criticism that were constructive and left the rest behind. I did take one of the more scathing criticisms with me. The classmate accused me of “Not caring about my characters.” Telling a writer they don’t care about their characters is a very big accusation to make without the proof to back it up. They may have been underdeveloped but I did care. Character development has always been one of my weaker traits as a writer. Since the assignment was a quick one, I didn’t get a chance to really get to know them, but I did care about them and to be accused of not caring was really painful.
I never finished a single story in my classes. Every piece I have ever written is still a work in progress. And the teachers expected that. Some stories I wrote and put them in the back of my file. Others I kept working on. Garrett and Julia is one that never left my mind. I wanted to make it better but wasn’t sure how. As I thought about the forms I could work with and platforms, I thought back to an episode of Doctor Quinn Medicine Woman where Colleen and her friends read a romance story that was printed every week in a paper that came from Denver. I’ve had requests in the past to write fiction on my blog. And so begins my experiment. And continuing my healing process by proving I care about my characters and I love this story.
I am still working out the details but I am considering six installments. I am not sure of the schedule yet but I’m hoping to do a new installment each week. I will keep you posted and hope to create a story you all will enjoy in a different way of publishing.