Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

"The Cambridge Introduction to Creative Writing" by David Morley (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

More a textbook than Wandor's book is, more useful for teachers than for students I'd guess, though there are many quotes and exercises. He's happier about workshops and their multiple uses, which include

  • creation of a community or peer-group. Networking.
  • learning about others' experiences and writing strategies
  • combatting loneliness

There are also risks

  • "the writer downplaying the work ... guiding the criticism ... to evade criticism" (p.121)
  • "seduce the group with easy comedy" (p.121)
  • "fall into role play ... play out caricatures. Role play displaces responsibility" (p.122)

His suggested format is standard except that he writes "In my experience, to get things moving, the tutor should select two 'lead-critics': one to go first, the other to speak if the first one dries up"

He writes "when you first encounter a workshop the feeling can be more akin to terror. There is no escaping this fear ... Eventually, you will value it or even learn to love it" (p.117). He thinks "The best workshop groups ought to have a strict life span, lest their participants grow too familiar with each other's critical and creative practice"

No comments:

Post a Comment