Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Matt. 12: 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Well, I’m taking this course at WVU and as much as I love to learn, I can’t seem to take my mentor hat off. I mentor, which means aid and assist other writers, in the course. I’m not mentoring this class and I have to be able to take my hard hat off because some people don’t want to hear that a sentence was not good, or it didn’t work, or that they exceeded the word count.

There’s that issue again, word count. Well when the course calls for 500 words and I see people posting 600 words, 700 words and even 800-1500 words, it irks me to no end. I say, CUT IT people! This is a lesson, not a marathon to see if you can get your point across. If you can’t make your point in 500 words, then guess what, you didn’t make your point at all.

The second lesson was about a rose. (Don’t ask.) I wrote the lesson and it went to 589 words. SNIP, CUT, CHOP. I got it down to 507! Much closer to the word count called for and a lot tighter too. Not the awesome imagery I’m used to, not the free feeling of just let it go and let it flow, but guess what, I wrote it, got my point across, and I’ll post it today to see what others think. Wish me luck. :-)

My lesson one grew from a mass of kernel sentences. He was lean. He had stubble. It was gray. And so on and so forth. We were to make one sentence, and quite a long sentence, to make the kernels sentences one. I did it, I hope. All the writer’s had different takes on the sentence and I didn’t see many foul ups, so my mentor hat said good job. It’s amazing to see how one kernel can grow into a whole bowl of popcorn!

On another note, some people commented and asked me to use the words HIS and WAS instead of the stronger word choice I used. Thank you for the great critique but guess what? WAS is passive and an excess word in writing. I try to cut those words out and use them to a minimum, if at all possible. If it became the stronger word choice, by all means I would use the suggestion.

From one kernel grew a 507 word piece for the next lesson. I don’t even care if I got it right. I wrote, didn’t draw a blank, and got it all in, in 500 words. kibble kibble. I mean, good girl Joni, now write some more.

On that note I’m off to inspire myself. Hey, I can only inspire all of you once a day, I need some time to inspire myself. :-)

Write people! No matter what, writing is in you and you need to fulfill your destiny.



TM said...

hi friends .. I like this article very helpful for me,,,,

June said...

Dearest Joni,

Did you realize I was one of those who went over the word count? LOL I thought it was 500-600 when it was 400-500.

Can I count that as a senior moment? hehehe....

You can wear your mentor hat whenever you fact, that part of everyone's job in the MFA classes, and expected.

I love getting comments from others. Makes me a stronger writer.

BTW - you never know when or where Mary Margaret might pop up...


Take care,

joni said...

I did realize that, but you're an exception because you're work is of the quality nature that I read and just can't stop. lol

As for me, my post was 507! :P

I think my mentor hat is glued on! AAA.. can't get it off!!! LOL

Thanks June, you're inspiring too and don't even know it! :-)

Stormcrow said...

Well done! What was the word count of this post, by the way? :P

joni said...

Always near 500 Stormcrow. I like to keep my post within the readers eyesight. Go over it and you might lose them. EGADS!

Leya said...

Hi Joni,
I'm glad to know you have a blog, and I will follow it. I found your comments on the course interesting. I'm in a critique group in which we do a lot of nitpicking, small things. Few people in that group have any concept of of how to critique the big picture, and I am having to change my focus for this class.

I remember thinking I was ok on the word count but after your criticism, I went back to check. 493. Phew!

I'm eager to go back through the posts now that I know we have another week. And I find everyone's mentoring, whether official or not and whether I agree or not, very helpful.


Thanks for your input.

joni said...

Welcome to my neck of the woods, Leya,
glad you found me.

I love giving a crit to someone's work. Nit picking is just that, I don't want to nit pick someone.

You did fine! :-)

We can only learn and grow form this well planned out course. I hope I can do it. :-)

Thanks for visiting!