Writing Workshops

As it is, my goal as an English major has always been to hopefully become a published author. Here, there are a few creative writing classes that I’ve been taking to build up some experience for what my master’s course load will be like when I get there. Right now, our class is in the midst of a workshop period. Each member of the class had to write a story and distribute it to everyone, and then we would read over everyone’s work and give critical feedback, both in written format and during in class discussion–also, during which the author can’t say anything to defend their work.

I had to do this last semester as part of my first creative writing class, so I’m no stranger. Even so, I was nervous when my turn finally rolled around today. There’s just something intimidating about having a bunch of other writers look at your work and basically tell you what you did wrong, albeit in the most respectful way possible.

I was lucky enough to get a lot of positive feedback on the story I turned in, Sparagmos. I also got a lot of good responses on how I could polish up the work to really make it shine.

It just goes to show that there’s always room for improvement when you’re a writer. I’ve been trying my hardest to get better at writing for almost six years, and I’ve almost reached the point where I’ve become so accustomed to my writing that it’s hard for me to find faults in it (not necessarily because I’m that good, but just because I’m used to what my own writing looks like). It’s been really great to get a fresh perspective to help me see where I still need improvement.

Reading others’ works with a critical eye has been an important part of the workshop process, too. What better way to practice learning how to improve stories than actually doing it? I’ve learned to keep an eye out for certain elements of writing while reading over everyone else’s stories, and I hope these will help me when I edit and revise my own works.

I think that the best part that will come out of this will be the actual revision assignment we have to do later in the semester, where we turn in a revised copy of our stories. I’m actually excited to start implementing some of the suggestions I got for Sparagmos, so hopefully this will give me some great revision practice as well!

This class has helped me out a lot in my writing so far, so I’m definitely looking forward to continuing my education in the same manner once I complete my bachelors.

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