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Clarion wasn't a huge waste after all...

With the sale of "D is for Delicious" (which means I sold 2 out of 5 stories written in wondrous Michigan), I can declare that Clarion was, writing-wise, only a major waste of time. Social networking still remains the only reason I would recommend attending, and before you go I suggest you undergo a comprehensive psychological exam.

Anyways, "D is for Delicious" has sold to Hellebore and Rue. I'm pleased. Dault is less impressed because there's no mention of catnip in the title.

Bad realization: I cannot recall when was the last time I actually wrote.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 17th, 2010 03:53 am (UTC)
Lovely sale! We'll be between the covers again.
Jun. 17th, 2010 11:47 am (UTC)
You just like using that euphemism!
Jun. 17th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Surely you can tell the difference between an elegant metaphor and a euphemism! (Usually I say "Between the sheets.")
Jun. 17th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
Congrats on the sale!
Jun. 19th, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
Much thanks!
Jun. 17th, 2010 05:38 am (UTC)
Jun. 17th, 2010 05:53 am (UTC)
Congrats on the sale.

I'd been curious about Clarion. A lot of my Odyssey classmates have gone and enjoyed it.

Still hoping for an actual sale...
Jun. 19th, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
Avoid Clarion like the plague!
Jun. 17th, 2010 07:20 am (UTC)
Jun. 17th, 2010 09:14 am (UTC)
Oh, congrats on the sale! Pfft, Daulton. Just tell him 'Delicious' means 'catnip.'
Jun. 19th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
To him, Delicious means rare roast beast!
Jun. 17th, 2010 12:19 pm (UTC)
I can declare that Clarion was, writing-wise, only a major waste of time

I guess I'm a little confused, since you've sold 2 of the stories you wrote there, as to why you thought it was a waste of time?
Jun. 17th, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC)
Clarion is a massive machine dedicated to breaking down writers. Some get regurgitated. Most die in the bowels of the beast.
Jun. 17th, 2010 01:21 pm (UTC)
That makes me want to go.
Jun. 17th, 2010 12:51 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the sale, though!

Merry =^..^=
Jun. 17th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
Congrats, Steve! :)

And if you write today, then you'll be able to recall your last time (unless you have the same disorder as that guy from Memento).
Jun. 18th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
Oh Steve, I'm really sorry you feel that way. I've taught Clarion West several times now and I just think it's great for some people and awful for others.

Not everyone workshops well. Not everyone should even write fiction. I think what the program does is give a massive infusion of information and input from five writers and an editor (at least at Clarion West)plus fellow students who can help you learn to critique your own writing. Hopefully it can provide tools that a writer will be able to use in the future. Sounds like you might have just hit a bad combo of personalities if you feel you got nothing useful out of it.
Jun. 18th, 2010 11:56 am (UTC)
Honestly, the problems with Clarion in my opinion are:

1) Crapshoot for instructors. I feel some are too far removed from what is being written & sold these days or are unfamiliar with new markets for short fiction. We had one instructor who praised a student (not his work but the student) to the mortification of others around him (AKA, he has talent, more so than you).

2) Clarion rewards fast writers. If you are a writer that needs time to develop plot, characters, arcs, setting, you are screwed. I am not one of these people.

3) Clarion rewards those who write solid first drafts. I am not one of these people. I often have to find my way into a story through a variety of "entrance attempts."

4) Many come into the workshop expecting/hoping for an epiphany - i.e., that overnight they will discover the secret technique that will launch their writing to the next level.

5) If you have sold any significant amount of work, especially a novel, prior to attendance, some of your fellow students will feel it their mission to take you down a peg.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 18th, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC)
Will, thanks for your perspective. I was only at Clarion East once and it was not a great experience. They had editors for only a weekend, which was a waste of time for everyone concerned (I thought). We didn't critique and we didn't bond.

I always tell the students during my week that when they get out they may be paralyzed in their writing for months or even a year--because of the overstimulation/input/information they're receiving over six weeks. But that eventually, that paralysis should leave them.

I've taught four Clarion Wests (or three--I've lost track) Some of the classes produced barely one writer that became a professional writer and who still writes. Others produced 80% or more. So the mix of students/teachers makes a difference in the experience of each class.

I would love to work with rewrites during my week --in fact I suggested it after my last stint--as an editor, I rarely work with first drafts and I think that the ability of a writer to revise her work is crucial to being the best one can be as a writer. I don't think Clarion West will allow me to work with students on rewrites, but we'll see. Perhaps not for the entire five days but maybe one or two students would be interested in going through that process for the class.

I think students need to take what is useful to THEM from the Clarion process-like you did.
Jun. 18th, 2010 01:13 pm (UTC)
Steve: I'd rather "talk" than post about this, and some time perhaps we can discuss it in person but (very) briefly

1)Those who choose to attend, know who the instructors are before they apply (and can do research on those instructors in advance)
2)How the Clarion workshops work is public knowledge. If you already know that you can't write quickly, it's not for you
3) see above
4) That's not Clarion's problem but the student who attends it
5) If someone's already sold a novel, she shouldn't be attending
Jun. 18th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
My biggest disappointment was the lack of single, hawt gay writers. The Clarion brochures promised I would learn about climaxes... I was deceived!
Jun. 18th, 2010 10:34 pm (UTC)
tsk tsk :-) You hit a bad year.
Jun. 20th, 2010 07:41 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the sale!

I think writing workshops can be great for some, wretched for others, but you can't know for sure until after it's over.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )