« "The Undertaking" on Frontline |
| Discussion--Week 11 »
For this week's entry, please take a moment to talk about our upcoming workshops. What can we all do to make it a productive experience?
Posted by Holly Vanderhaar on November 6, 2008 5:40 PM | Permalink
I think that we all need to keep in mind that the purpose of the workshop is to help each other improve our papers. The things we discuss are going to be very helpful when revising our paper to turn in at the end of the semester. So, even though it is sometimes a hard thing to do, we should not be afraid to give each other criticism. I think that next week's workshops will be even more productive than the last ones simply because we have already done this once before, so, hopefully, we will all be more comfortable and familiar with the process.
Nicole Hilgendorf |
November 7, 2008 11:18 AM
Nicole Hilgendorf |
November 7, 2008 11:19 AM
I think that overall the essays have really improved writing-wise. I’m not saying that the last essays were bad by any means but I have noticed that these essays seem a lot easier to read. I think they’re better written. So in the workshops we can really focus on things like content, structure, and organization. I think we need to be careful as far as criticism goes because these topics are very personal and (I will only speak for myself here) I have very little experience as a writer. Criticism can be very helpful but it intimidates me to hear people say that we should be harsher!
Laura Ullery |
November 8, 2008 12:47 PM
I can't say much about the workshops. I don't feel like they have entirely been beneficial or detrimental to my writing. For those commenting on a piece, I think everyone should say something constructive. There is something that bothers me about the last workshop discussion we had on my piece- some people didn't like my dad's reaction to the cabinet. I want to say that I will not change the reality of my story, whatever story it may be, nor tamper with the truth of the events that occurred. I won't embellish moments that were profound to me and none other. I hope the other writers when they hear criticisms that they don't find useful or meaningful, I hope they disregard them. I hope that others don't sacrifice honesty in order to entertain and satisfy the expectations of their readers. I hope that in our next workshop we focus on how each person's story was written rather than, let's say, on a disapproval of the events that took place in it.
I'm not sure if anyone else felt this way, but I was not comfortable writing a very personal essay for this class and having strangers critique it. Personal essays are difficult for me to share, my vulnerability is exposed. I did not respond well to criticism of a moment I cherished with my father. At the same time, I do appreciate most of the comments I did receive, both negative and positive. Just as I don't intend to lie in my writing, I expect those commenting on it not to lie as well and share with me what they honestly think.
I don't want to keep writing about this, I keep going back and forth and I have forgotten what it was I wanted to say in the first place. I've been going off on an awful tangent. I hope the next workshop goes well and that it is beneficial for all of us. I don't know how to improve it- these are personal essays responded to with personal comments- who can say how people will react on both ends? Discussion is garanteed to be interesting at least.
Caitlin Mantych |
November 8, 2008 1:58 PM
I think in the workshops we need to remember that we should point out what works with the essay first, and then give constructive criticism second. We learned this was proper etiquette, but also as many people have pointed out, a lot of these essays are very personal topics, and we can't just bash the pieces of writing. Offering constructive criticism is what can really help us out, but also telling others what works is helpful too because then we will know what things we do in our writing is effective so we can apply that to future pieces of writing.
Danielle LeBreck |
November 9, 2008 12:39 PM
I want everyone to feel comfortable about voicing their opinions. I don't think anyone will be offended with anything people say. Everyone has different opinions and I think it's good to get others opinions on your essay. It can only make the revising smoother. I do think that because we have done one workshop before this weeks will be better. I didn't know what to expect last time and this time around I do.
Madeleine Lucas |
November 9, 2008 2:20 PM
I also find it hard to hear criticism about my paper because the topic is so personal and I feel so vulnerable. However, I think it is important to hear constructive criticism about my paper and we should comment on both good and bad aspects of the paper. The last workshop was helped me improve my writing and this time I think I know more about what would be helpful to others.
Molly Kim |
November 9, 2008 2:29 PM
Molly Kim |
November 9, 2008 2:30 PM
I felt that the last round of workshopping worked fine. I wouldn't have minded more discussion that included everybody and I wouldn't have minded more time to discuss, but I found what people actually said to be helpful and polite. From what I've witnessed of people in class, I have no doubt in anyone's ability to phrase criticisms diplomatically and to receive those criticisms with open minds.
Tyler Dirks |
November 9, 2008 5:00 PM
During this next workshop, I hope to that everyone contributes something to every person's essay. And I also hope that we can offer a good amount of constructive criticism to each person's essay. No doubt, everyone in this class is capable of expressing themselves in a tactful manner, so of course, any constructive criticism will be shared in a polite manner. And I do believe it will be received just as politely and with an open mind. On the other hand, as the author, they certainly don't have to use every piece of advice that is given to them.
So yeah, I hope that this workshop goes just a little more smoothly, not to say that the first one wasn't; it really was helpful and a good experience, but as people so often say, there's always room for improvement.
Korri Schneider |
November 9, 2008 8:11 PM
I think one thing that might help add to the workshop is more inquisitiveness from the writers themselves. I think that people will be more apt to respond constructively and efficiently when there is a specific question posed by the essay's author to the rest of the class. I think that we did a pretty good job last time overall. If I remember correctly, I think we were talking about maybe responding to the papers in sequence this time, like everyone in class will go around in a circle and say what they think about the piece. I'm hoping that isn't going to be the case, I feel like we might slip into going through the motions as opposed to feeding off of each others' feedback and providing commentary when we feel like we have something valuable to contribute.
Trevor Simmons |
November 9, 2008 8:19 PM
We should all try our best to participate in the discussion. Since we are writing feedback, giving help suggestions or asking good questions shouldn't be a problem. We should also try not to repeat the negative things that people say and instead give different suggestions or give different reasons as to why the piece is confusing or hard to understand. Some of the questions are really interesting like what you brought as a reader to reading the essays. We should carefully anaylze why different people enjoy a certain essay on various levels.
Yefei Jin |
November 9, 2008 8:34 PM
During our discussion, the best thing people can do is just say what is on their mind about everyone’s writing. I feel new to creative writing in general so I don't have a lot of ideas set in my mind for what is effective in what I put on paper, so I enjoy hearing any kind of ideas from my classmates. Even if I strongly disagree with someone’s interpretation or comments on what I write, I know I have the choice to quietly dismiss those ideas in my head without saying I’m offended.
Kat Busch |
November 9, 2008 8:45 PM
I believe that everyone in this class is a capable writer who, as such, can give suggestions in a tactful manner. Because of this, I also believe that we should all be able to interpret a critique on our essay as opinions aimed to help improve our writing and not as an attack on us. This batch of essays was extremely personal and there seems to have been much emotion put into the writing of them. I feel lucky to be trusted by my classmates enough to be entrusted with the information their essays divulged.
I am looking forward to this critique and hope that it is just as helpful for everyone as the last one was for me.
Thank you to everyone in the class for their candid revelations.
Kelly Gregg |
November 9, 2008 8:49 PM
The last discussion was very helpful in my writing and this time I know how the discussion works so I will be more comfortable in giving helpful criticism to others. I also think that the shorter, more specific feedback questions are better than the last workshop's questions so I believe that will benefit the discussion greatly. In order for this discussion to be beneficial for everyone nobody should get too offended about what others say because after all an author can chose to not pay attention to criticism they don't agree with, and the point of the discussion is to improve our essays.
Megan Johnson |
November 9, 2008 9:51 PM
I think that everybody needs to keep in mind that the point of the workshop is to be critiqued. If I didn't like a certain section or I thought that something could have been constructed better than it was, I should not be afraid to say so for fear of offending somebody. With that said, I think that everyone needs to be willing to hear what everybody has to say and realize that factual events cannot be changed, but the explication of them and the clarity of how they are presented can be.
Brett Baldauf |
November 9, 2008 10:22 PM
I'm very excited for the upcoming workshop because I feel that everyone got a good feel of what happens during it our first time. I think now people will know what to expect and know what they want to hear. Taking into consideration of people's thoughts and concerns as writers and the depth at which they'd like to be workshopped should be taken into consideration. I don't think anyone will have problems and I definitely hope to come out of the workshop with the ability to rewrite and rework my paper into a better paper!
Alex Kraak |
November 10, 2008 8:16 AM
Alex Kraak |
November 10, 2008 8:17 AM