Mike Quinn – Summer Writing Seminar Student

Prior to taking this class I had been apprehensive about putting my experiences into story form. Over the last 50 years, I had taken notes of my experiences with the intention of doing something with them but each and every attempt had failed to accurately describe what I wanted to convey.  In the short, 5-week class under Lucas Pralle’s direction, I have gained the confidence and developed a better understanding of how to go about shaping a story. I am very grateful to have discovered the PCVI creative writing class. When I was assigned to write an experience story for my final paper with less than 3 weeks remaining in the class, I panicked. Even though I knew the story that I wanted to tell very well, my drafts weren’t conveying the story accurately. Lucas had encouraged the class to repeatedly send him drafts that he would scrutinize and then return the developing story with suggestions and fixes. More narration here, less dialogue there. Cut this, remove that. Expand on this idea or get rid of that sentence, you don’t need it. I now feel as though I have a better understanding of what it takes to bring a story to life and what I need to do to be better prepared. The shaping of the words used to convey my story slowly evolved into the actual experience that I had. It has been a very rewarding experience putting a story on paper, and in the end, having it accurately describe the event. This process has encouraged and motivated me to learn more about becoming a better writer. My final story from this class is something that I am very proud of. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the sponsors of the PCVI Creative Writing Program and especially the instructor Lucas Pralle, whose enthusiasm, guidance and direction has made a real difference for me.