Monday, January 26, 2009

Writing about Workshopping:

Earlier today, my Fiction Workshop class met for the first time this semester. Truth be told, there is something about creative writing classes that literally puts me in awe and scares me at the same time!

Admiration: These are the people (students—student writers—writers?) who will write and share short stories with me over the first half of the year.

Fear: These are also the people (readers—critical readers—critics?) who will read MY short stories and possibly rip my heart out in the process.

Scary. But I have to remind myself that “we” are all in this “together.”

I know a few of my classmates already. I have read some of their stories already even. We were in a class together last semester in which we essentially “workshopped” the entire semester.

Writers know what “workshopping” is BUT the average person might not (unless you read my blog last semester, because I assume I wrote about the process then as well).

(I don’t feel comfortable calling myself a “writer.”
It is something I consider more as a goal.
Until published, are you a “writer?”
Until you receive payment, are you a “writer?”)

Anyway, being “workshopped” entails writing something, giving a copy to everyone. Giving everyone the opportunity to read it—and then sitting there (in the same room) as the group of people discusses your written work.

Did I mention that the person who produced the written work has to sit there quietly and “take it?” It’s a literary firing squad, if you will—and you don’t get to be blindfolded or a long drink of the alcohol of your choice beforehand either.

(although I guess I just discovered a reason how a FLASK can come in handy)

I personally had two positive experiences with it last year. I also had one negative experience. I can admit to myself NOW that the negative experience really improved my story though.

Now do I have anything WRITTEN for this class yet? No. Do I have ideas floating around? Yes. I have a few weeks left to panic before my first story is due--which gives me not nearly enough time to continue reading a novel (one class), read some poetry (another), write a sonnet (yet another)...AND that's just THIS week!

You get the idea. *whew*


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