Friday 10 October 2008

Critiquing, Editing ,Abandoning

I have now started working in earnest with our new students. New on all three levels. I’m convening the Level 1 creative writing course. I’ve also got two good groups in Level 2 and Level 3.

I met my portfolio groups for the first time today. They are certainly on the ball, and I think I was also able to give them a lot of detailed feedback on their work. Was it good quality, though? I hope so.

It is amazing how looking at other people’s work actually helps you to understand your own even better. There is always an intensity about it. All those things we talk about: is the structure solid? Does it grab the reader? Are you showing instead of telling? Is the punctuation okay? Are there darlings to be killed off? Does the dialogue work? Is there enough description? Is the writer making use of their senses? Does this character convince?

When is the work finished? Could they come the week they have to give it in and have one last one-to-one? Of course they can. It’s programmed in. What if then, we give them advice and they don’t won’t or can’t take it? Or they think they do and the piece still doesn’t work?

How we go on and on. A piece of work is never finished. Just abandoned. I used to think that that was just so much of a piece of rubbish. There is, in fact, more than enough truth in that.

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