Something interesting to read.


Death to novel-writing workshops! Check the comments, too.

I took a novel-writing class way way back in the day. You wanted to learn how to do something, you took a class, right?

Well, it wasn’t what you’d call useful. The teacher taught an odd, artificial system and workshopping a six- or sixteen-page chapter outside the context of the book was useless. Before printing up pages to hand out, I’d search the document for the word “eye” because it was a huge deal there if you made a mistake like “His eyes went around the room, searching for a face he recognized.” Sure, it’s bad writing. It’s also an extremely easy critique to make, and they would make it, every time, even if the word didn’t appear in the document.

What did help my writing was: smart critiques from smart people, and studying good novels.