*Note: I don’t claim to be an expert in anything writing or art related, nor do I want to come off as haughty or arrogant in saying the following. I’m writing this with humorous/informative intentions to describe the wonders of the Creative Writing Workshop course I’ve taken this semester and the pieces by my peers in said class. I’ll admit, there are definitely some talented writers in this class, but I’m been thoroughly shocked for the entirety of the semester just how many students seem to treat the class as a Creative RANTING Workshop more than anything else.
Shall we begin?
First and foremost, one must know that in a creative writing workshop, consistently bashing the pieces by your peers is a surefire way to showcase your own expertise as a creative writer, to earn the love and affection you deserve from your peers and future readers and most importantly of all, to raise your grades tenfold. Nobody wants to hear anything nice about the short story they spent a month conjuring and secretly, the verbal abuse only motivates them to write more. Bigger mouths = bigger encouragement! Don’t forget your obligatory expletives!
Also, taking ten minutes to feed a novice writer negativity about his/her piece will always take attention away from any mistakes or problems within your own piece for the class. Go confidence!
For those of you who have a vendetta against anything and everything governmental, who have suffered through unfortunate relationship experiences, or who simply feel misunderstood by humanity, writing creative nonfiction is for you! Be warned, the minute your pen hits the paper (or your fingers the keyboard), you’re entering a vicious contest to see who hates his/her life the most. You absolutely must delve into the deepest, darkest depths of your inner being to stir the most depressing memory of your life in order to write the most effective piece. Breakups = creative nonfiction gold, because there is nothing more depressing than a failed relationship (definitely, definitely not), and every peer and reader will take the time to give you sympathy after praising your literary mastery.
For writers of fantasy/sci-fi fiction, the only topic material ever worth exploring is that involving vampires, witches and time travel. The student who deviates from this formula will always and forever receive an F-.
Having troubles making your character(s) seem realistic and relatable? How about some expletives? Profanity tops daily conversation like whipped cream, and we all know there’s not a soul in the world without a sailor’s mouth. Why beat around the bush, right? Expletives serve as a sign of maturity and intellect, so slipping them into the dialogue of your characters (or better yet, your narrator) will give their personalities more depth and wisdom.
Writer’s block got you down while you’re composing the most mind-blowingly thrilling piece of fiction ever? One word will forever solve that problem: sexism. Expletives not giving your main character enough depth? If your main character is a woman, develop the daylights out of her by expressing what horrible monsters all men are through some awful experience she has with her father, brother, uncle, boyfriend, boss at work, et cetera, and make this the main focus of the character’s thoughts for the remainder of the piece. It’s realistic, relatable, and not offensive in the slightest! And if your main character is a man, be sure to riddle his life with romantic flops between himself and a variety of scantily-clad women whose sole purposes are to lie, cheat and steal every ounce of his sanity. Remember folks, depressing is interesting, cheerful is boring, and who in the world wants to read about two people in a perfectly stable, healthy love relationship?
Answer: nobody… unless those two people have all kinds of gratuitous sex. Graphic sex scenes are also handy for developmental purposes, because… well… it’s something real people do… therefore, people want to read about it.
Punctuation, spelling and grammatical errors mean nothing to your peers and your course instructor. Feel free to ignore them completely, as the rest of the class will, and it might even help readers focus on the actual story a bit more!
Don’t worry about your general interactions with peers, because there is no possible chance that any of them could become literary agents or end up in the publishing business and/or somehow be connected to your writing career in the near future or anything.
Last but not least, if you receive no comments or feedback of any kind of a written work, that means you should just keep doing whatever it is you did when you wrote said work. It certainly doesn’t mean the piece is so unspeakably bad that nobody had the heart to tell you that you probably shouldn’t be taking the class…
Welp, that’s what I’ve got for you today, Reflections-readers. I hope it was somewhat enjoyable and/or relatable. Until next Thursday, here’s a picture of me pretending I can paint good. Cheers and God bless!
Luther D. Powell