I think my morning lecture on incorporating layers of identity into your character-building went pretty well. I rambled slightly, but not overmuch, and given that this is also the end of the semester, a little rambling is, I’m afraid, to be expected. And I gave them handouts, which are more concise and coherent. 🙂

That was followed by four critiques, which went well; these folks are at a level where they’re already doing most things well, so one can go into the stories with a surgical scalpel rather than a hatchet.

We then had two hours of free time; I meant to use the first hour on catching up on e-mail, but I appear to have used it mostly in arguing with people on Facebook (about the racial and economic justice importance of incorporating high-density housing in Oak Park). Flashbacks to campaign season. Luckily, deciding on things like the Albion development is not actually my job, and I can, in fact, walk away from the arguments if I need to. Look at me, wisely walking away.

My plan for the second hour of free time was to take a quick swim in the rooftop pool, and possibly have a bit of a lie-down before the next lecture, when DongWon Song will teach us how to pitch properly. I told him he could use me as an example, which means I need to come up with a pitch for one of my novels-in-progess. How’s this?

“It’s post-colonial SF — aliens have brought waves of indentured servants, humans and otherwise, to their region of space, and exploited their labor for generations. But now the Overseers have left, and the humans, other indentured aliens, and natives must try to build a stable society in the midst of species tensions and hatred.”

I think I’m supposed to keep it to two sentences — the next one would be something like: “Our protagonist is a young woman, descendent of indentured servants, now caught up in a revolutionary movement that will put her life, and the lives of her romantic partners, at risk.”

That is a very rough draft of an elevator pitch. Feel free to suggest tweaks. 🙂


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