The Mouse King was on the block yesterday. What's hard for me is to have 19 other people focus on me for over an hour. I get an adrenalin rush just from the 3 minutes I'm critiquing someone else. Being the central focus was excruciating. Getting to know 19 people has been wonderful, but very draining for me. I like them all, want to know them all, what they think about, what their strengths are. I'm very used to fading away, though. My office life is long behind me. I live isolated on purpose. I deal with one or two relative strangers face to face at a time in my daily life. I deal with friends at a distance. My creativity group hasn't met for maybe six months, the last folks I let inside my head to my weird little fairy world.
So the level of focus and control was hard for me. I had to be by myself once our lectures were finished for the day. I spent a lot of time writing up the points, thinking about them. I discovered things about the story yesterday and also discovered things about how a reader approaches it. Just because I put laws in my text, it doesn't help them read it. They will bring their own world to it. So it's probably better if I let them, if I don't try to force them to see the fairies my way. Because the reader might get all caught up in trying to interpret the rules instead of letting the story flow over them. And because I've never said explicitly what's at the core of these stories. Though the laws come close to it.
I learned I have two stories. I didn't know that, but I can see it now. I learned that Cumin is a hero. He was never intended as one, but I see that he is. He will have to have his own story now, probably the one where he finds his cat and tames him. I learned what needed to be more obvious in the text, explicated. I learned that the Mouse King should be a graphic novel. I only wish. It would be beautiful and dark.
So my brain is full. This has been incredible, in the root sense, something not to be made sense of, not to be believed. You would have to experience it. If you want the detail, dawtheminstrel is providing a good writeup. I can feel my work already jumping a level that it wouldn't have on its own. Now I have to take what's been given in the lectures and attempt to apply it. I think, to Helen's story, which is not fantasy and not about the fairies, but I've done a lot of thinking about it already. So I can add some of the plot work to it and see what happens.
Thank you, 19 wonderful people.