End of Term Wrap-up: Intro Fiction Writing Workshop

Required Reading:
The Lie That Tells a Truth – John Dufresne
100 Years of the Best American Short Stories – Edited by Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor
Where Does Creativity Hide?” (TED Talk)
Literary Revolution in the Supermarket Aisle” – Lev Grossman

Most Important Lessons:

  1. READ! I’ve always known reading was an important part of being a writer but I’d missed the key! They say read anything and everything, which I took to mean read whatever you like. No. Read what you love and what you hate and what makes you uncomfortable. Then analyze what about it makes you feel however you feel about it. If it didn’t make you feel any kind of way… WHY?
  2. Sketch. Specifically, character sketches. What is this magic I’ve never touched? I’m so grateful to now have a template to further develop my characters.
  3. Good critiques. I learned what it really takes to give and receive a good critique. This is one of the most important things I think you can learn from a workshop. Being good at receiving criticism means not only doing so without being defensive but also being able to wade through what is right for your story and what isn’t. Giving good criticism is helping the writer achieve their goals, not what you think their goals should be.

Overall, this has been the most useful class I’ve taken in my entire college career! I’ve found stories I love, stories I hate, and stories that have changed the way I look at writing. I also learned the joys of editing! Don’t get me wrong, editing is hard and terrible, but coming out the other side is absolute bliss!

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