Just over two years ago I gave in to my closet 'arts major' tendencies and enrolled in an introductory English course through Athabasca University. Having spent most of my undergraduate career in envy of my English major roommate, I was ready to sink my teeth into the literary greats over endless cups of tea and the odd electronic correspondence. It would be great. I could read fiction by daylight and not feel guilty for I was a student!
Well, needless to say, the course was not the literary mecca I had envisioned. There was one helluva lot more work involved than sipping orange pekoe over Dickens, for one. In the end I came away with a great appreciation for the authors we studied and an equally large inferiority complex. Lucky for you, dear reader, it didn't last long.
So how do the masters do it? How do they suck us in page after page, keep us awake long after our intended bedtime, and breath life into completely fictional characters and places? The answer far exceeds what can be included in any one blog entry. All I know is that it is far easier to analyze brilliant prose than to write it and analysis is no walk in the park either.
So it's back to the page for me. Who knows? By Draft 6 I could be a master in the making.