“Professor Swan?” came a timid voice. Bella looked up and saw one of her more promising students, Bree, from her creative writing course. “You wanted to see me?”
“I wanted to talk to you about your piece you submitted for the last assignment,” Bella said, pulling out the printed copy. “This is really good. I’m very impressed with the characterization and the world you created in the constraints I gave you with the assignment. It made me yearn for more. Fae, magic, a hidden darkness threatening to end the world? I’m not normally a fan of fantasy, but this has promise, Bree.”
“Really?” Bree asked.
“So much so, that I sent it to my editor and her interest is piqued as well,” Bella said, placing an email from Alice on top. “I know you’re a college student and you have your studies, but I’d like to see how this is developed. Where you take it.”
“This is only the first chapter,” Bree breathed. “I have about six written. It’s romantic, scary, sensual and filled with magic. I really like the author who wrote the Throne of Glass series and so, I kind of started writing fanfiction and then one of my readers suggested I make my own original fiction. This is what I came up with. My beta, who also happens to be my roommate, helped a lot. I’m awful at the mechanics of writing. She’s a godsend.”
“That was my only critique,” Bella chuckled, pointing to the numerous grammatical errors in the story. “It helps to have a strong editor, or beta.”
“You’re not going to lecture me about writing fanfiction. Technically, it’s plagiarism,” Bree blushed.
“It is, but when I began writing, it was through fanfiction, too. I was in love with Wuthering Heights and creating a world that was current with the characters helped me with my writing. I still have those stories saved on a flash drive somewhere,” Bella laughed. “I even dabbled in some Twilight fanfiction. I am named after one of the main characters.” Bree giggled. “You have a gift, Bree. This is my editor’s email address. If you want to continue, send her what you have and see if she wants you to continue, but do not let your studies slide.”
“Do you think I can really get this published?” Bree asked.
“Possibly. I can’t help you. Not right now, not while you’re a student on my roster. But, after the semester is over, I’m more than willing to help you. I want to read what happens to Jerehc and B’alim,” Bella smiled. “And work with your beta with those grammar things. An editor can only catch so much. It’s frustrating as a reader to mentally put in those commas and correct spellings.”
“Got it, Professor,” Bree blushed. “Thank you.” She took the short story from Bella and skipped out of the office. Bella turned back to her laptop and went back to grading the mediocre and downright bad stories written by the other students in her class. She hated tearing these kids down, but the plot development wasn’t there, nor was the characterization and don’t even get her started on the writing mechanics. They made Bree’s story, which had been covered in red pen, look like the great American novel.