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Old 09-15-2010, 05:27 PM   #9
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To end this:

After leaving the last week of class, a few of the writing methods used by a few other students... started to bother me. It bothered our teacher too, but I didn't find that out until after I talked to him about it. I thought it was just a personal style that I liked to take, but it seems like it is considered amateur among writers. I have to frown upon those who would use events that have actually transpired around their own life and use that as an excuse for a story. It's not a bad story... but there's very little put in the thought process because one is spewing out as much as they can remember. It isn't writing to discover and I'm not even sure if it is writing to control.

Imagining a story based on events that have happened to you or someone is completely different, because you're not turning the entire event into the story. They just use pieces of it (of almost anything) to formulate the story. These few people-- these few writers who have occupations in places where they are usually around other people. They're complete strangers whom they have had absolutely no contact with, have only met through work, and probably wouldn't bother to know and understand them personally. They eavesdrop on this person's or people's conversation, they make notes on what they're saying (and sometimes how they're saying it), then they go home, write up a quick story with dialogue that closely matches what the said person or people have said, change the names, change what the characters look like, change the setting to a place that doesn't exist (albeit still in the real world), and turn in their assignment. Easy A, right? I hope not.

Unfortunately I go to a school that is plagued by people who think a certain way. People who go into these writing classes usually aren't there for the joy and passion of writing. They're just there "to pass the class and move on". Friends, family, or some student strangers tell them that fictional writing is an easy class to pass, so they go in with the expectation of only passing the class. These people-- the ones who are only there to only to pass the class and could care less about the people who feel that there is not only responsibility as a student but a duty as a writer-- only come to pass the class.

It's discouraging.

How am I supposed to collaborate with people who don't care? How am I supposed to get proper criticism from people who don't care? It's exactly like public speaking classes. Not a lot of people go into that class to become passionate about public speaking-- you just do it, live through it, pass the class, and move on. None of us care fifteen seconds after you make your informative speech about how Wikipedia formed and why instructors frown upon its use. Or after you try to persuade people that unpaid internships follow strict guidelines and are otherwise illegal and businesses get away with this type of stuff all of the time because they take advantage of desperate, uninformed, and naive students who don't know their rights as an intern and/or employee. Listening to this person, writing down questions to ask later, making comments on what they said, how they said it, and their posture while speaking, expanding the topic by asking questions to further your knowledge or to find out how much the speaker really knows (I swear it's mostly the latter)... it's all part of the class.

Personally, I'd beg to differ. Why else would I be writing about this?

There was only one person in my class who told everyone that she wanted to become a professional writer and we never talked to each other even once throughout those twelve weeks of class. Still out of my league. I went into the class to learn how to be a better writer and to find ways to get myself out of writer's block.

So, what'd I learn? I can never be happy with anything. Haha. I need to find a writing circle or something to get what I want. Problem: I don't like cliques. I like being in groups of general people because they have perspectives that others don't see or couldn't see. But I'm never happy with those general people because their investment and commitment to being part of the group dedicated to writing is awfully low. Exactly. Even if I get into a small group of writers, I don't think of any of us would be interested in what other people are writing since we write for ourselves. We're just being polite.

It reminds me of mapmaking. A fraction of us make maps for ourselves. If people like what we make, then okay. If not, we're not going to change our vision. They don't have to like it. We're not going to force them to like it. That means... it's a chore. The irony.

Now that I think about it, all of my teachers so far have made a point to tell students how they grade them. My fictional writing teacher tells us this the last minute of being in his class, "It's impossible to get an A in my class. It's difficult to get a B in my class. Just for getting a C, you should pat yourself on the back." After he said that, it made me unsure of whether I should be satisfied with a B.
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"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love,
I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing."

1 Corinthians 13:1-2

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