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*bleeding from the eyes*

Do you know what is the worst drawback to creative writing class? It isn't the uninformed, unhelpful criticism. It isn't the general illiteracy. It isn't the ambient stupidity pressing against me from all sides like radiation and slowly killing braincells that actually cry out "No! No! Not me! I'll be good!" in terrified protest.

It's having to read the other stories. Now, I know I'm not a fantastic writer, but ye gods. Jesus Christ on a whole wheat cracker, these people are terrible. I know that for four-fifths of them (my optimistic estimate) this is their first attempt at writing prose. But shouldn't this sort of dangerous duty be handled by professionals? Wearing special protective gear? Goggles? Hazmat suits? Something? Apparently, that's one more thing that The Beast has cut from the post-secondary budget. These... "stories"... are handed out to the defenseless students, as if they were merely harmless packages of stapled paper. I am - I really, really am - aware of the necessity of the process of trial and error. You have to suck before you can... not... suck. But! Must I, in the process of their training, be exposed to this... this...

...words fail me.

I'd quote for your shared misery, but it's illegal, and I'm pretty sure Douglas could find me if they tried. Just... oi. The pain. It killed BigKim, even. Complete with the theatrical gagging and the collapsing onto the carpet. *shakes fist at the mediocre writers* You killed my roommate! Now how will I pay rent?

On top of this horror, the prof seems to support the self-esteem movement...

*moment of Bitter Glaring Disapproving Silence*

...and actually insists that we not be "too harsh" in our reviews (we have to write reviews for everything we read). Y'know. Harsh. Like... honest. At all. He enforces this by requiring us to sign our reviews. The which *I* have no trouble doing, but I don't want to be the *only* person making them cry, so I try to be diplomatic. Which means I can only be condescending, not blunt. You would not believe how many times tonight I've had to find synonyms for "clumsy", "boring", "cliched", "stupid"... the list goes on. Tact has its place, and its place is *not* within the pages of a literary review. Then again, I would not insult literature by affiliating it with... this.

Oh, damn. There goes another brain cell. That's my quota for the day. I suppose I should go to bed... or something.

(See? I don't need drugs. I can kill brain cells with bad amateur fiction!)

EDIT: The philosophy midterm (got an A- ! :) had three sci-fi references on it (Hitchikers', Orwell, and Brave New World). When we went over it in class, I was the only one who could cite all three. Or... any of them, actually. Don't people *read* anymore? o.O

SECOND EDIT: It is now officially October the first - which means I can wish dianahobart a Happy Big Giant Flaming Evil Monkey Boy Day! I hereby encourage all those who-know-what-the-hell-I'm-talking-about to follow my example. ;)

LAST EDIT (I PROMISE): Oh. Damn. Right. September doesn't have a thirty-first. Right, then, going back to re-date tomorrow's assignment... ;)


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 1st, 2003 04:39 am (UTC)
Fuck 'em, poppet. Be as harsh as you wanna be. Establish yourself as the haughty auteur. Your father is a published fiction writer. You can afford to be haughty. But for Pete's sake, be CONSTRUCTIVE. It's not enough to say it's cliched, point out specifically where it is. Get a red pen and really get in there and edit. Get them on word choice, verb agreements, everything. Really get them. You're doing them a favor, really.
Oct. 1st, 2003 11:23 am (UTC)
Heh. This last one I had to actually write out examples, with little arrows, explaining how to correctly capitalize after dialogue.

You would think that at their ages they would know the basics of their first language. *shudder*
Oct. 8th, 2003 05:35 am (UTC)
One would think, yes. It's always my hope. Thank goodness we rarely have that problem when I edit.
Oct. 1st, 2003 11:24 am (UTC)
Say hi to Naylor for me. He loves me, you know.

Ah, CRWR. So many horrible memories. Like the story about the little possessed boy who was killing his friends which degenerated into a battle between a priest who turned out to be the pope who turned out to be an angel and a demon and there were rays of light flying everywhere and... And then there was Cystopher the cyst. That was just stupid. And a girl thought she could be deep by writing about rape and all those undiscussable issues, but her story ended up just being gory for no reason. And a story about Serbia by a guy who didn't know what the fuck he was talking about and whose story went absolutely nowhere. He spends three quarters of it in the bloody airport. As fun as these stories might sound, they were disastrously written. The others were just mediocre, and that's a compliment considering the rest.

So, yeah, thanks for bringing up horrible memories.
Oct. 2nd, 2003 10:17 pm (UTC)
Do I write better than them?
Oct. 2nd, 2003 10:23 pm (UTC)
Rissa, the thousand-monkeys-on-typewriters write better than them. By a lot. A scary lot. o.O
Oct. 3rd, 2003 02:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks. ^.^ I feel better - did I send you my story?
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


Chandri MacLeod

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