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edwriter



Apr 27, 2005, 3:36 PM

Post #1 of 235 (8032 views)
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MFA Workshops Can't Post

At some point several of the threads here address the topic of workshops in MFA programs. One new thread, focusing on individuals' current/completed MFA experiences, asks if we've found workshops "engaging."

That's an interesting question, but I'd like to pose another one. What kind of guidance have you received in your workshops on providing comments/critiques? In my experience (mainly in fiction) much of the success of a workshop depends on the critiquing skills of the participants. And that means instructors bear some responsibility for "teaching" the critique, too.

Thanks for your responses. It will be especially interesting to see if there are patterns and differences depending on genre here.

Erika D.


Quiet Americans: Stories
http://www.erikadreifus.com



(This post was edited by motet on Jun 1, 2006, 9:42 PM)


rooblue


Apr 27, 2005, 3:59 PM

Post #2 of 235 (8020 views)
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Re: [edwriter] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, Erika.
There's an entire section in the Warren Wilson handbook devoted to workshop behavior. It goes well beyond the basics of etiquette and respect for one's fellow writers, proposing that the workshop's main task is to understand the intention of the work, and then comment on how the work does or does not fulfill that intent. I've been at WW for a year now, and no one in any of my workshops has ever done a flamer on a story. Even when a story was clearly in its early drafts, and still in need of a lot of work, people refrained from slicing it, or its creator, into bits.Criticism tends to take the form of "I was confused by" or "I wasn't clear on" rather than what an individual liked or did not like. Needless to say this has not been the case in every workshop that I've been in.

Workshop is not my favorite part of residency, by any means, but I don't dread it like I did before I came to WW. Pongo said somewhere else on this board that the main point of workshop is to teach critiquing skills, not to make an individual story that much better, and I agree with that. We all come to workshop with such different sensibilities, and A's comments on B's story might be perfect for the same story if A were to write it. It's impossible to eliminate this tendency completely, but focusing on the writer's intent as opposed to one's own leanings does help quite a bit.

The fac at WW are all different in workshop -- some are laid back, some participate more -- but I don't think they'd allow the kind of pack-mentality bloodletting that I've personally experienced in other places. I'm actually glad I went through it, once. I can say with 100 percent certainty that it did not make me a better writer.


Kaytie
Kaytie M. Lee

e-mail user

Apr 27, 2005, 6:10 PM

Post #3 of 235 (7994 views)
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Re: [edwriter] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, Erika, nice to see you on here.

The best workshop experiences I had were the ones where the instructor gave the class structure before anyone brought work in. For example, in my favorite workshop, the author was not allowed to speak at all, and the rest of us discussed the piece, talked about what worked and what didn't for each of us, and the instructor asked leading questions where necessary. Rarely was there complete agreement; never was there the kind of slice-and-dice meant to attack the writer. It was just like discussing literature in a lit class, but even more, gave the author insight as to how editors might read it. We can't follow our work to explain it to everyone, so better make it strong enough to stand on its own.

The worst kind of workshop was the free-for-all kind, where the instructor waited for everyone else to say their piece before coming down from on high with the "right" take. But even then, the more experienced students tended to set the tone.

More often a workshop was made unpleasant by the inability of a participant to accept that other students might have valid criticism. If you can't take difference of opinion without getting defensive, you probably ought to stay away from workshops, right? This is not something an instructor has complete control over, but it's worth the instructor's time to say something about how to respond to criticism upfront.


Kaytie M. Lee Last Updated November 2008


edwriter



Apr 27, 2005, 6:36 PM

Post #4 of 235 (7989 views)
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Re: Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for those responses, and it's nice to catch up with you here, too, Kaytie!

It's a fine line, or something of a dilemma, isn't it? It's important to accept valid criticism, and yet it seems that a number of workshops/instructors don't necessarily take steps to ensure that the criticism will be, in fact, valid (so one ends up, for example, with many of the aforementioned "I like this"/"I don't like this" comments).

And it can be hard to listen to (or read) "invalid criticism." It's understandable, I think, for a writer to become "defensive" in such instances. The point about teaching writers how to respond to criticism is an excellent one--I just think that when faced with substandard critiques a writer has a right (no pun intended) to be annoyed, especially given the time, money, and everything else that has gone into the workshop.

Best,
Erika D.


Quiet Americans: Stories
http://www.erikadreifus.com



Kaytie
Kaytie M. Lee

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Apr 27, 2005, 8:05 PM

Post #5 of 235 (7975 views)
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Re: [edwriter] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

Ah, that's a different take than what I was talking about.

If I understand correctly, you're saying that if the criticism isn't of the informed variety, the author has a right to be annoyed/angry because of the wasted time and money. I totally agree with you on that point, and yes, I believe it's the instructor's responsibility to either ask for more from the participants or ask leading questions that will spark a meaningful critique of the work on deck. It's in the instructor's best interest to talk about how to critique, since one assumes the instructor wants to cultivate an environment that gets writers coming back for more.

I was speaking from the other end, when participants have taken the time to give thoughtful responses to a work (often both positive and constructive) and the author is too defensive to listen politely, even if they plan to disregard everything. In one instance, every time an opinion was expressed, this student would argue the point as if by defending it she could negate the opinion. It went beyond artistic choice--she wanted only approval for what she was doing, and refused to see that she might have weaknesses--and consequently never heard when people said they enjoyed her work. (She was quite happy to point out what wasn't working in other people's writing, of course.) When the instructor gave her some suggestions on how to use the criticism she was getting, she stopped bringing work to class for the rest of the workshop.


Kaytie M. Lee Last Updated November 2008


lillyl


Apr 27, 2005, 10:03 PM

Post #6 of 235 (7964 views)
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Re: [edwriter] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

<i>What kind of guidance have you received in your workshops on providing comments/critiques? In my experience (mainly in fiction) much of the success of a workshop depends on the critiquing skills of the participants. And that means instructors bear some responsibility for "teaching" the critique, too.</i>

I think most graduate-level workshops expect that their students will have had a few workshops already & will know what sorts of things one discusses in workshop. This is usually a good assumption, but in my instance I didn't have workshop before I started grad school, so I was a bit in the dark.




Amethyst


Apr 27, 2005, 10:43 PM

Post #7 of 235 (7956 views)
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Re: [edwriter] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

I have been in a number of different types of workshops over the years. I personally am not a fan of the rule about the author not being able to comment on his/her work. In one workshop I took, the person being critiqued got to say whatever he or she wanted at the beginning of the class. For instance, the writer might discuss what he or she was trying to achieve in a certain section, why he or she made specific choices, whether something about the piece was frustrating as it was being worked on, etc. I think knowing those things ahead of time, before one begins commenting on the work, can be very helpful. I don't think I agree that the primary purpose of the workshop is to teach critiquing skills--I think that is one purpose, but helping others to see their work through another, different set of eyes is also important and extremely useful, even if the workshop's suggestions are not ultimately used to revise the work. There have been a few times when I have been completely floored by what my classmates, or the teacher, said about something I had written.


edwriter



Apr 28, 2005, 10:23 AM

Post #8 of 235 (7926 views)
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Re: Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

Kaytie, thanks for that clarification!

And thanks to the others for the responses.

I'd agree that teaching the critique is not the only, but is an important part of the workshop. Especially for those writers who plan to go on and teach writing, it's absolutely essential to learn how to respond constructively to other people's work.

And yes, I'd certainly agree that an overall strength of the workshop would appear to be the opportunity to get other people's reactions to one's work. But don't we then return to a question about the quality of those reactions?

I've frankly never heard of a writer speaking in class before a critique session. Did that ever have a "silencing" affect on the group?

But it does remind me of something I use in my own workshops: a self-assessment sheet. I first picked this up in a program I did when I was in graduate school in another field (the program's purpose was to help instructors in all disciplines respond to student writing more effectively).

I've adapted the sheets to use in my own creative writing workshops. They include three questions and I ask students to complete them and attach them to their manuscripts when they distribute them to the class. Some students choose to staple them to the front of the manuscript, and some to the back, and I think that choice may have repercussions. I now say so in class, too.

Anyway, the sheet first asks for the basics (student's name, ms title, date the ms will be critiqued). The three questions follow:

1) One aspect of this ms I'm especially proud of is....

2) If I had more time to work on this ms I would.....

3) One question/issue about the ms I'd like to have addressed in comments/critiques is.....


It may seem a little elementary, but I like the sheet because it prompts the writer him/herself to think about what may be working as well as what may need some work before the piece even gets to class discussion. And I think it's helped make the critiques at least a little more useful.


Best,
Erika D.


Quiet Americans: Stories
http://www.erikadreifus.com



pongo
Buy this book!

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Apr 28, 2005, 11:56 AM

Post #9 of 235 (7910 views)
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Re: [edwriter] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

I have occasionally seen writers speak before their work was discussed (not in MFA workshops, but in others). It happens usually when the author needs specific information about the work; for example, I once brought a section of a novel to a workshop needing to know if it was funny. I also got some good comments on other aspects, but I told them up front that mostly I just needed to see if they laughed.

dmh


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


Amethyst


Apr 28, 2005, 3:07 PM

Post #10 of 235 (7895 views)
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Re: [edwriter] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

I never found that the other students were silenced if the author being critiqued was allowed to speak first. Usually, the author's comments were along the lines of the questions you ask your students to answer on the worksheet you mentioned. I found that most people appreciated hearing what other people had to say beforehand--it actually helped to get the discussion going, because everyone had a point of departure. As a writer, I can also say that being allowed to speak first helped me to hear the other people's comments more openly. So often, when I brought something in to be critiqued, I had a strong feeling that certain things weren't working, but I wasn't sure how to change them. Being able to say, for instance, "I am not happy with the ending of this poem--please give me suggestions on how I might develop it" was great, because I didn't have to sit there silently for ages and ages while people discussed how the ending was weak, thinking in my head the whole time, "I know that already." Because the problem area had already been acknowledged, people could move right along to brainstorming about ways to rethink the ending, and I was able to relax and listen.


edwriter



Apr 28, 2005, 3:24 PM

Post #11 of 235 (7891 views)
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Re: [Amethyst] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I never found that the other students were silenced if the author being critiqued was allowed to speak first. Usually, the author's comments were along the lines of the questions you ask your students to answer on the worksheet you mentioned. I found that most people appreciated hearing what other people had to say beforehand--it actually helped to get the discussion going, because everyone had a point of departure. As a writer, I can also say that being allowed to speak first helped me to hear the other people's comments more openly. So often, when I brought something in to be critiqued, I had a strong feeling that certain things weren't working, but I wasn't sure how to change them. Being able to say, for instance, "I am not happy with the ending of this poem--please give me suggestions on how I might develop it" was great, because I didn't have to sit there silently for ages and ages while people discussed how the ending was weak, thinking in my head the whole time, "I know that already." Because the problem area had already been acknowledged, people could move right along to brainstorming about ways to rethink the ending, and I was able to relax and listen.



That sounds very helpful, then. I suppose it brings up another question (one that's obviously open to everyone). Have the critiques been essentially limited to spoken comments in the workshop, or have you also written up narrative comments to return to each writer with the ms? Obviously online workshopping would seem to require the latter. What are everyone's thoughts about spoken and written critiques?

Thanks,
Erika


Quiet Americans: Stories
http://www.erikadreifus.com



taizhu


Apr 28, 2005, 4:37 PM

Post #12 of 235 (7880 views)
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Re: [edwriter] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe that both spoken and written critiques are necessary to have a well rounded critique of one's work. That has been the process for most of my workshops. In general, all of my workshops have been excellent. No nitpicking, attacking, sniping etc.

In general, I find that the spoken critiques can be swayed by the tenor of the discussion. People rathole on issues, minor things can become major things and vice versa. Spoken critiques are good at fleshing out major hiccups that many people find in the writing--inconsistencies, plot problems, etc.

I prefer it when the author is not permitted to say anything. As the writer, I find it better that the workshop reacts to what I have written rather than what I was trying to do. I use the comments to get a sense of whether or not I accomplished my goals for the story. I address my follow-up questions/comments accordingly.

I find written critiques valuable because you get a much better feel of what people actually think about your work. People are generally more clear when they write about what works/does not work in a story.


willbell
Will

Apr 28, 2005, 4:43 PM

Post #13 of 235 (7879 views)
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Re: [taizhu] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

You've probably all heard or read this, but I thought I'd provide a link...for a laugh.

Billy Collins
Workshop

http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/...e/record.asp?id=3990


mingram
Mike Ingram

Apr 28, 2005, 4:55 PM

Post #14 of 235 (7876 views)
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Re: [edwriter] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

In my program we get both: written comments (on the manuscript as well as a letter from each of the workshop participants) and in-class comments (usually an hour or so of discussion, sometimes a little more).

The writer is put in the "cone of silence," so to speak, during the workshop, but is then allowed to ask questions at the end of the process. One potential problem with allowing the writer to speak beforehand is that the writer may be tempted to explain his or her story or put it into some sort of context (i.e., "I was trying to do..."). Which is, of course, not an opportunity a writer will ever have when his or her work is read elsewhere. The workshop teachers here are very clear that what we're critiquing is the story itself -- what's on the page -- not the writer's intentions, or the writer personally, etc. "It's about what's on the page. It's not about our souls," as Frank Conroy used to say.

Of course there are times when everyone in workshop pounces on something (the ending, a particular bit of dialogue, whatever) that the writer already knows is weak work. But hopefully they're also trying to get at the question of Why it's weak, and what can be done to improve it. I can see the appeal of speaking beforehand, but at the same time I think it's best to get critiques that aren't colored by the writer's conception of his or her own story.

Mike


edwriter



Apr 28, 2005, 6:01 PM

Post #15 of 235 (7867 views)
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Re: [willbell] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
You've probably all heard or read this, but I thought I'd provide a link...for a laugh.

Billy Collins
Workshop

http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/...e/record.asp?id=3990


Thanks so much for posting this! I hadn't seen it yet. Really funny.

Best,
Erika


Kaytie
Kaytie M. Lee

e-mail user

Apr 28, 2005, 8:58 PM

Post #16 of 235 (7850 views)
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Re: [mingram] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

"It's about what's on the page..."

Exactly. Great quote.

In some workshops I got a written statement from peers and the instructor, others not. Some people would mark up their copies of my selection with notes, others would not. I appreciated getting written comments because then I didn't have to take nearly as many notes--I could listen and watch people speak--body language telling me as much as their words. And I prefer workshops where nitpicking is left in the written comments and the discussion is about story or characterization, what's working and what isn't working. Correcting facts during workshop is a time-waster.

I was never in a workshop where participants spoke before the discussion of a piece. To me, the idea was to produce work on my own to the best of my ability, and then see reactions to it--where I missed, where I succeeded. Other people brought first drafts and the class was left wondering what to say beyond basic mechanics.

I wonder how the opportunity to say something about it would have affected what I brought to workshop?

I also didn't get many in-class exercises, either. (For which I was grateful, but now I wonder if I missed something.)


Kaytie M. Lee Last Updated November 2008


emilydixieson


Apr 29, 2005, 12:17 PM

Post #17 of 235 (7823 views)
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Re: [Kaytie] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

I've enjoyed this discussion, complete with a Billy Collins floorshow! But, I am wondering: what do y'all find that you do with the critiques? What do you actually do with all this "helpful commentary?"

I hope you don't mind the question as opposed to a comment....


edwriter



Apr 29, 2005, 3:24 PM

Post #18 of 235 (7808 views)
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Re: [emilydixieson] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I've enjoyed this discussion, complete with a Billy Collins floorshow! But, I am wondering: what do y'all find that you do with the critiques? What do you actually do with all this "helpful commentary?"

I hope you don't mind the question as opposed to a comment....

Well, the helpful critiques--those that really do focus on the manuscript and its intent and point out inconsistencies, confusions, and more--really help me revise. I take those critiques and I study them and really evaluate each suggestion the critiquer makes and often make the change, adding or deleting or reconceptualizing, accordingly.

But on a mechanical level, one way to handle a batch of critiques is to take a clean copy of the ms and to list all the comments/points on the appropriate segments/pages of the new copy. This can be pretty interesting because one can find, for example, that x number of people cite one thing as working well and y number of people say the same thing is not working at all.


Best,
Erika


pongo
Buy this book!

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Apr 29, 2005, 4:02 PM

Post #19 of 235 (7802 views)
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Re: [edwriter] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

Another benefit of critiques is that you can use your critiquing skills on your own work, and on anything you read, in order to improve your own craft. I even learn much about writing from grading freshman papers (or at least from trying to explain to them why what they have tried doesn't work).

dmh


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


mingram
Mike Ingram

Apr 29, 2005, 4:33 PM

Post #20 of 235 (7798 views)
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Re: [pongo] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a good question, actually -- because for some people the workshop process can be a little debilitating. Suddenly you have the voices of 8-10 people in your head trying to tell you what to do. Of course there are pieces of good advice in the mix, and sometimes there's even a consensus that something doesn't make sense, or is unclear. But you'll also find that some people just don't like a particular type of story, and their comments are really an attempt to turn your story into the kind of story they'd find more palatable (not that they're doing this maliciously, or even consciously).

So I think one of the writer's main challenges is to weed through comments and make judgments about which ones seem right and which ones don't. As valuable as it is to get lots of feedback, writing isn't an art that's generally best done by consensus. Ultimately, it's your story and you need to follow your own judgments and gut feelings about it. Hopefully, one thing workshop does is hone those judgments and make you a better reader of your own work.

I tend to take notes while people are talking during workshop, then I'll go home and read through the letters. Then I'll let the story sit for a while. When I go back to the story, I usually find that the helpful comments are informing my revisions because I've internalized them to some degree.

Mike


emilydixieson


Apr 29, 2005, 4:58 PM

Post #21 of 235 (7795 views)
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Re: [mingram] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

Well well well: I certainly appreciate this response. Working in poetry, I find I take a little pile away from the workshop (sometimes three little piles for three little poems) and just don't know how to handle the stack! So many comments for so few words... so much confusion about that compact thought.

I wish I had more room for my pile system, a long hallway for piles of projects and thoughts.

But, it's not just the pile system that discourages me from revising. My lack of knowledge and confidence falls prey to inspiration, which I cannot monitor or predict or schedule.

I wish in workshops I were offered some direction over "go home now and write." On revision, on the use of the material... hum?


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Apr 29, 2005, 6:15 PM

Post #22 of 235 (7786 views)
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Re: [emilydixieson] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, revision is a whole other kettle of bouillabaisse. Part of the trick there is to develop confidence in your critics -- and that isn't just trusting what people say about your work but knowing that you can trust it. If one person says, "Too many adjectives," you need to know if that person just hates adjectives or really has an idea for your poem.

Most revision tricks involve ways of finding a new persepective on the work. One that I like involves cutting it up into pieces (line by line for poems, sentence by sentence for prose) and tossing it on the floor, then picking up each piece and considering it alone.

dmh


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


libbyagain


May 2, 2005, 11:51 AM

Post #23 of 235 (7737 views)
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Re: [edwriter] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a fiction writer and without question my favorite form of workshop reponse occurs when respondents give me running commentaries of their reactions/what they're thinking, in margins. "I'm intrigued by this. . . " "I'm wondering whether this bloody glove means we'll be meeting O.J. soon. . . " "I'm STILL wondering where O.J. is. . . ": that kind of thing really lets me know what readers are thinking, when, and maybe even why. I'm able, that-a-way, also to distinguish between types of readers: those who "get" me, those who "don,'t" whether I care.

In my experience (conferences only) I'd say that about 1/2 of workshop group members do conscientious jobs. 1/4 do okay jobs. 1/6 or so are really careless, sloppy. . . ought not be there in the first place. I couldn't BELIEVE there were some-such, even at some "prestigious" conferences I attended. . .

I think that if respondents do enough work in advance on the ms'es, then the session itself seems to go well. I'm usually very relieved when the leader chimes in, to amplify, clarify, solidify, connect. . . In my creative writing classes I also ask for shows of hands ("How many of you thought what Sharon did. . . that O.J. was about the enter the room? How many of you expected someone else?") I like sketching out/having sketched out for me a "where is the story now," kind of thing. I think class concensus, imaginative fillings-in-of-blanks, even arguments ("OJ?? No WAY!! Weren't you READING at the bottom of p. 2?) can be very inspiring for a writer, and emphasize the fact that it's the PIECE we're talking about. . . NOT the person.

fwiw.

Elizabeth


Kaytie
Kaytie M. Lee

e-mail user

May 2, 2005, 8:47 PM

Post #24 of 235 (7700 views)
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Re: [emilydixieson] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I've enjoyed this discussion, complete with a Billy Collins floorshow! But, I am wondering: what do y'all find that you do with the critiques? What do you actually do with all this "helpful commentary?"


Like edwriter and others above, I take the stack of comments and transfer them all onto one master. Then I wait a few days (or longer) and revisit the manuscript with the comments, a sort of "workshop revision." I only incorporated what I thought worked.

I save the master in a file cabinet with the teacher's copy for posterity, or because I have pack-ratism in my genes. And for some teachers, you want to keep their words.

After I took the last workshop from my program, I took out all of those masters and read through them. I could see the evolution of my work, and see what comments I still got after all that work. It was an enlightening weekend, let me tell you.

And since it's related, I save new versions of my manuscripts on my computer every time I change them so that I can always go back to an original or earlier draft. I also back up to another computer and upload to a private site on the internet, just in case...


Kaytie M. Lee Last Updated November 2008

(This post was edited by Kaytie on May 2, 2005, 8:48 PM)


darredet
Darren A. Deth


May 3, 2005, 3:44 AM

Post #25 of 235 (7680 views)
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Re: [Kaytie] Critique Guidance in MFA Workshops [In reply to] Can't Post

I have only had my material workshoped twice in an academic setting, both of which were at a Writers conference. What I found useful was that each person read a paragraph or two of the story being workshopped prior to anyone offering criticism. This assisted us in getting into the mood of the piece. There were roughly 14 people in the first workshop and only eight in the second. The one with eight worked much better, and a clearer idea of what needed to be done. That being said, the workshop comments did not cover everything I needed to get the manuscript to where it needs to be. I set it aside for a couple of days after the conference, selected what comments I thought were worth addressing, which was most of them, and sent the revision in as part of my portfolio for Graduate credits.

I am also in a Writers group that meets every other week. There are only five of us in it, two of whom have been published. I get a piece workshopped every time I bring something in, which is most of the time. I have not found this group to be nearly as effective because it seems to focus more on line editing rather than the intent of the piece. Admittingly, I find myself falling into the same trap with this group, which I am not proud of, the main reason being I can't stand the material being submitted. Everyone is fixated on writing murder mysteries. That's a hurdle I have to overcome.

In any event, I'm hoping the workshops in my MFA program will foster the growth I experieced at the conferences, and enable me to bring my Writers group up to the next level, or perhaps start another one with similiar desire for improvement.

Darren

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