I had a meeting with a lovely and talented member of the writing faculty earlier this week to discuss a short story he generously critiqued for me. The story is in the process of evolving into a novel, but its journey thus far is only in the planning/back-of-mind-simmer stage. I’ll turn my attention to it at the end of the semester, when I’ve finished a) the story I’m currently working on and b) a personal essay I have to write for class.
But! As we were chatting, I was so pleased to find that he loved An Education as much as I did. It seems that we both found the most emotionally resonant material was in the Carey Mulligan character’s relationship with the Olivia Williams character (and he also pointed to the Emma Thompson scene as a turning point which led to that great ending scene with Olivia Williams). I was so keen on the movie that I went out and bought the memoir by Lynn Barber upon which it’s based (good interview with Barber here). I’ve got one book left to read for class and then I’m free to read the stack of pleasure reads I’ve been accumulating. This one’s close to the top.
An Education came up because the story-which-will-evolve-into-a-novel is a sort of coming-of-age type story which involves a precocious teen, identity, and Andy Warhol. Although. I have to say that when I look back on that description, the connection is, um…not really all that clear.
But that’s OK with me. I have a thing about discussing works-in-progress too early. The thing is this: that discussing them too early sometimes takes the shine off. At this stage in the game, it’s crucial that I remain giddy and excited about a project, and if I have to keep it to myself, like a secret, until it’s progressed a little more, so be it.
Mum’s the word.