I met my mentor once in person and received additional detailed feedback by email. It was tough to hear very detailed criticism of what I felt was a polished piece. And it was tougher to learn to act only on those suggestions that were true to the story I wanted to tell. From those suggestions, I learned some useful lessons:
- Ordinary people are engaging characters if they lead readers to unexpected insights.
- Effective characters talk about big ideas through small subjects.
- Plot points and emotions should emerge from images, subtle dialogue and complex characters.
My story is now stronger, although not strong enough for TOK 7. After participating in the program, my writing is more compelling, my characters more complex and my dialogue more subtle. And I have other stories to tell.