The other students in my community Spring 2013 college fiction writing class were all young enough to be my great grandchildren. Their stories hopped from young adult to fantasy, from first love to suspense, from intrigue to absurdity. Their imaginations escaped boundaries and shattered my established writing box halved with suspense and inspiration.
I spent a semester trailing creatures with red hair and purple eyes, or blue skin and purple hair. I trailed a futuristic creature, part cat, part female human, and some mysterious third part I never understood. I traveled with witches in carts pulled by horses and rode spaceships that made Star Wars transports look like horse-and-buggy days. I time-traveled from ancient dynasties to futuristic civilizations and hovered over the centuries between—the only ones I understood. I encountered Samurai swords, galaxy battles, orbs, greed and dysfunctional families in every century.
I struggled through the required critique questions.
Q: What is the author’s intention? A: To confuse this nontraditional student.
Q: Does the opening catch the reader’s attention? A: Blue skin and purple hair? You bet it does.
Q: Is the point of view consistent? A: I can’t tell because the characters won’t lift their armor faceplate or space helmets so I can lip read.
Q: Does the conclusion agree with the author’s intention? A: Yes. The ending was as confusing as the rest of the story.
One question anticipated, but not required, at the end of the semester:
Q: Did you reach your person goal? A: Yes. This nontraditional student survived.