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Poet voice

Esteban : Did you have a good class tonight?

Wendy : We were supposed to write something fresh and I didn’t… I used the first page from my “Flea Flicker” story because it was in first person and fit the assignment.

Esteban : So… you cheated.

Wendy : I didn’t cheat! Why does everyone say that?! I just didn’t write something usable last week. Also, I kind of resent some of the writing prompts. I don’t have a problem thinking of things to write about and I don’t want to waste time writing things when I’ve got about three story ideas I can’t get to. The quality of writing in the class is getting better though. Although one guy read his own work and did the whole “spoken word” thing that I can’t stand.

Esteban : For example.

Wendy : Well, remember when we went to Artstreet and saw Mark Turcotte read? The way he reads, that’s a legitimate way of reading a poem… very performance arty and using the rythyms of language to build in your voice. It works well with poetry, but with fiction, you just have to be more subtle than that. You can’t sound like Martha Stewart, with the emphasis on the wrong words. I swear, he had a sentence like “my father and I went down to the river”, only it was stilted and more like “my father and I went DOWN to the Ri…ver.” I felt like snapping my fingers after he was finished. I think I’m the only person who finds that ridiculously pretentious though. To everyone else, it probably sounded like strong writing, but if you need to be there using your mouth to say “look Mom, I sure am writing now!” then your prose probably isn’t as good as you think it is.

Esteban : See, that’s why I will never be a fiction writer. I would just be like… um, yeah, mister writer person.