A Writer's Sanctuary

A blog about writing.


Writing Workshops

Posted by Chastised-Dreamz on Sunday, December 21, 2008

In a fiction or nonfiction workshop a writer shares their work with a group and after that group reads the work they make comments and suggestions about it. In many of the workshop courses that I took the person whose work was being workshopped was not allowed to say anything until everyone else was finished commenting. Not all instructors will run their workshop in this way but it's good because it allows you to get a person's initial response to your work. Think about it, you won't be there peering over your reader's shoulders when they're reading to clarify what you meant by something you wrote.

Workshops are a good way to see what kind of response you would get from your readers. When I had to take my first workshop course in college I was pretty nervous. I didn't know what people would say about my work and I wasn't how it would be received.

While taking the course though, I realized that criticism is a good thing once it's constructive. There are some issues that might come up in your writing that you might not pick up yourself so it's always a good thing to have other people read your work. From my experience in these workshops I've seen some people's work get interpreted in ways that the author had not intended. While you might have an idea on your head, it does not always come across the way you intended on paper.

It may be scary to think that someone may have something "negative" to say about your work but it's all part of the learning experience and just because someone points out something that can be improved that does not mean that it's negative. Anything that can help you better your writing should be considered and looked at as positive. I wasn't sure when I took my first workshop if I would be able to take the responses but I was able to take it. I realized if I wanted to be a writer I'd have to have tough skin because there will always be someone who is going to critique your work.


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