More Writing

One of the strengths of my writing instructor is his feedback.  If he likes what you wrote, he’ll tell you why.  He told us that the biggest disservice we can do to each other is saying “I liked your story.” or “I didn’t enjoy your story.”  We need to explain why we enjoyed it.  For example, your description of the scene was vivid – the dim, foggy morning when your breath hung in the air.  Or “I got confused with your character – I didn’t even get a sense of his age, gender and even appearance.”

Our assignment had a word limit.  Of course, everyone felt that limit wasn’t enough.  When I got my first assignment back, I saw how he was able to edit some of my writing.  I still need to tighten up my writing.   For example I wrote “My grandmother was a tiny woman.”  He crossed out woman.  I slapped my head when I saw that. It was so obvious. Some errors are just grammar “The food sizzled and hiss as it danced in the wok.”  Hiss should be hissed.

My last class is next week.  There’s a follow on course that’s even more intensive.  He told us that students typically come with a short story (about 10 to 15 pages).   We’ll take each other’s work home and provide feedback.  *GULP*   I am already nervous when I read my story out loud in class.  I’m also blessed with an abundance of doubt about my own writing.

Anyways, I have to think this through.  I want to save some money for a new camera (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) and for travel.



17 thoughts on “More Writing

    • Yeah, that’s why I like this teacher. And he also doesn’t make us feel dumb if we don’t know certain writers. He’ll always give us a bit of a background on any writer he mentions in class.

  1. Peer review and feedback are two huge components of assessment. And it’s importance is becoming more talked about in teaching and learning pedagogy.

    Agree with the last comment that peer review should first be accompanied by a sample assessment whereby the students are given a scorecard so they have a framework for providing feedback.

  2. Sounds like you are learning some good writing lessons, Matt!
    And I think after getting the instructor’s feedback, etc., the good thing to do is just keep writing…practicing what you have learned! 🙂
    I’m excited for you as you grow in your gift of writing!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  3. Sounds like you’re really enjoying the course, Matt. It sounds like it was better than what you had anticipated from it. Do you find that you’re happier working through this writing process? Are you learning more about yourself, for instance?

    • You’ve asked some really good questions – especially the last one. It’s harder than I thought. The effort required to write a short story (300 words) was more than I expected. It was easy to crank out 300 words. It was hard to make it concise, yet descriptive and interesting. Our instructor told us to keep an eye out on what we write and what we are avoiding to write. Are there patterns? What subjects you afraid to write about? He encouraged us to be more introspective and I think that’s where I’m learning about myself – especially my insecurities.

      There’s a lot more about the craft that I need to learn.

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