Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Second Workshop

Tomorrow, I hand in my second piece for my nonfiction memoir workshopping class. This time, I went deeper, darker and wrote a very personal piece. Printing it felt odd and I'm sure I'll feel a bit self-conscious tomorrow when I hand it out to people. But, my eventual goal is to write a memoir to turn into a screenplay, so I figured this was the first step in getting bits and pieces of my stories down on paper. People seemed interested in my subject matter from my first workshop, so I think my classmates will also be interested in this piece. Who knows though...writing is so subjective. Overall, with only five weeks left in my workshop, I think workshopping is a good way to see how peers feel about your work, but it is most certainly not my favorite form of writing. I'm not a fan of feeling pressured to commment on someone else's work (or fail in participation) after not having much time to absorb it and without know what he/she truly intended to write. I'm fine with critiquing fiction, but nonfiction is so personal. Anyone else done workshopping before?


Erica Ridley said...

Never workshopped with non-fiction memoir before. I can definitely see your point about how personal any critique would be. Also, if it's non-fiction, I would feel weird saying things like, "shaky characterization" or "the motivation doesn't ring true" like I would to a fiction critique partner, since non-fiction "really happened that way". Let us know how it goes!

Stephanie J said...

I'd have to agree with what Erica said on the topic. It's a little bit uncomfortable to tell someone that the way they wrote their motivations or an event wasn't "good" in my eyes.

Last time I workshopped was back in middle school when I went to the Young Writers Conferences! lol

Jessica Burkhart (Jess Ashley) said...

It is uncomfortable, but luckily, when workshopping in my class- we can't talk or do anything but write down the comments we're receiving when our piece is being workshopped. I had one person say he didn't believe something actually happened, and then he softened it with a semi-apology.

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