The theory is correct. Damn it.
The 2009 Clarionites have created an online crit group to continue to help each other with stories. I am slated to submit a story at the end of next week, and thought I would revise one I wrote in February-through-April. I liked it well enough before I left for Clarion, and I figured, hey, I'll do a quick revision and show it to 'em.
So I looked at it last night (after telling my classmates about it, of course), in preparation for that "quick revision."
The characters are opaque and mostly cardboard, the narration utterly on-the-bloody-broken-nose, there's no sense of place, and the language is so wooden I could use it to build a gallows. I stared in disbelief, thinking "I really liked this?"
So I'm rewriting from scratch. I have no idea how much better the thing I submit will be, but at least I have some idea of the
So thank you, Clarion, for this new critical eye -- a freaking raven on my goddam shoulder, croaking insults in my ear.
(...*sigh* Not really angry, just a little rueful and embarrassed...)