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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

entry arrow8:28 AM | LitCritters Dumaguete Originals No. 1

It almost did not happen because of conflicting schedules and bad Internet connections and such. But they were adamant about not missing a LitCritters session this week, since last Saturday was already spent giving them free time to pursue some other extracurricular activities. (RJ and Odie had debates to do, etc.) But last night, LitCritters Dumaguete unveiled its first set of originals. I'm astounded by the works, even if admittedly most of what was written needed some precise editing and revision if only to make them work better as stories. Still, I am happy. Very happy. Given the fact that for most of them this is their first attempt at fiction, the outputs they gave me was highly satisfying -- and the way they critiqued each other's works made them grow in my estimation as passionate individuals who are in this endeavor for longer than a stretch. Who knew these kids had it in them, and in spades, too? When I first gathered them together for an informal weekly workshop, I had already known what they could deliver in terms of literary essays and such. The challenge was to get them out of their comfort zones, and to try fiction. One or three of the stories from last night may already be ready for eventual publication, if the authors do decide to shape their stories up with the relentlessness of unforgiving editors.

One thing I noticed though: only one of them finally proved to be a real children's story. I asked them why. And got the expected response: writing for children is not a walk in the park, after all. It's hard. It's very hard to modulate the language, to straddle the thin line between passable and overtly childish.

A few weeks from now, we're going to produce another set of originals, this time starting out with the prompt I gave them a week ago -- which resulted in them writing what they thought would make a good beginning of a story.

LitCritters Dumaguete is turning out to be a fun experiment. (Thanks, Dean.) What's more, it forces you to write on a regular basis, too. That's always good.

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