Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Purpose of Workshops

I liked this piece suggesting that the real benefit of workshops is not getting your work critiqued but learning to critique the work of others:

“"You become a strong writer by writing critiques, not reading them, " I say [to students]. Being forced to analyze the effectiveness of other writers' stories and to then provide them with clear, concise, specific suggestions for improvement will do more to develop a writer's craft than almost anything else. Through this process writers develop a stronger objectivity about their own work, sharpen their critical thinking skills, and hone their language. A writer can't always recognize flat dialogue or abrupt scenes or uneven pacing in her own work, but she can sure as hell see it in someone else's. And the more adept she becomes at identifying it elsewhere, the more easily that skill becomes adapted into her own writing—it becomes second nature.”

The essay was written by Jeremiah Chamberlin for Glimmer Train.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.