Friday, July 29, 2011

The Anthology Preview

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.


  1. Megan,

    This sounds like a great exercise, for you and the reader. We forget how much of what we now know as classic book-form literature once appeared in serial form (Dickens, Twain, etc.) In Alcott's Little Women, Jo's stories are published in serial newspaper installments.

    As the 3rd wife of an older man (albeit somewhat older than your Julia), I'm curious to see how you develop the characters. I have some experience in the 2nd wife wreaking havoc department (and the experiences of a couple of other friends as well) if you need any suggestions. Toss in a couple of angsty college-age daughters and you've got a pot-boiler! :-)

    Happy writing!
    ~ Tash

  2. Thanks Tash. I am excited about the possibilities. As always, I appreciate the support. I will certainly let you know if I need suggestions.