Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Ugly Side of Writing Workshops

The short story I'm working on is not coming easy.

I suspect it's because this is a straight story, not genre, and I am uneasy describing a world that has to obey the known physical and natural laws.

What do you mean my leading lady can't turn into a turnip? This is not my kind of universe...

Challenges are good though, and I plan to complete this story and send it to a market I've been interested in for awhile. See if I can write the story I should have written back when I took that creative writing class in college and wrote "Dead Metal Skunks" instead.

We were not a good mix, that group and I. I was so annoyed by the feedback they kept giving people I just gave up. The group overflowed with artist types harboring strong opinions and worldviews (at ages 18-20). Every week for several hours we sat around a large rectangular table, someone read the newest submission, and in the ensuing silence, we all sat quietly for a few moments, careful not to sound too eager. Then as a group, we universally panned it, the writer, and everyone and everything the writer ever cared about.

As far as I could tell, this is how it was done. Teacher assigns random word count. You fill the space. Everybody tears you a new one. And your silence is required while this is happening.

I still think that was some kind of crazy torture in the category of "More harm than good." And: "Damn. Did I actually pay cash money for that experience?"

So I guess that still bothers me. Who knew?

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