Monica Carter


This Is The End

There are about a bajillion sports metaphors I could use right now – it all comes down to the fourth quarter, the final set, the last two minutes – to parallel the ending of my time with the Mark Program.  All good things must come to an end.  Yesterday, we had our final reviews for our projects and it was a fitting way to wrap up the six months I spent with my novel in solitude.

There Is Always An Exception

As our final review approaches this coming Sunday, I am trying to keep my anxiety fairly neat and tidy. I am avoiding, while I lie in bed at night, imagining in shockingly vivid detail the hundreds of horrible scenarios that could happen.

What I Learned

I learned that it’s never going to be perfect.

I learned that you will never have all the answers that you need. You’ll to wing it.

I learned that you never know all there is to know about writing fiction.

I learned that writing doesn’t make better writing, awareness plus writing makes better writing.

I learned that degrees don’t mean much in fiction. It’s respect for the craft and the reader and the commitment to honor that respect.

The Proustian Approach

There has been much talk in the past month or so, within the Mark Program, about interiority of character. In my struggle with this, I've performed some writing exercises meant to unearth my own emotional experiences, which are useful for developing character. This is not to say that my characters are now more autobiographical, only that, in giving the writing access to my real emotions and personal experiences, I've better served the characters on the page.

My Fiction Shall Rise Again

It’s T-minus one week until the mid-project review. This means the entire next week is dedicated to making sure I know every motivation, action, word, and emotion of every character in my novel and how it all factors into the work as a whole. Currently, I am worried. I thought the rewrites were making the novel more dynamic, layered and compelling, but now I fear that I just moved things around, added things, deleted things, and basically made it look like the same pig with different lipstick.