The dangers of writing about writing are about as numerous as the dangers of writing communities. So much has been said about fiction. From John Gardner's The Art of Fiction to Orson Scott Card's How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy (despite is bigotry, it is an informative book on craft), Not to mention books such as Deepening Fiction, and the countless essays by writers like Margaret Atwood, Cormac McCathy--the list goes on.
Despite the plethora of options for new and young writers to learn what makes fiction work well, one aspect of being a writer is missing from the labyrinth of pages already published, on and off the internet.
A writer's workshop is where writer's gain so much, and lose nothing at all--granted their workshop is functioning at capacity. Workshops can be the grit and grind, the beginning of a more nuanced approach to fiction. A workshop can also be discouraging. It can leave any writer feeling drained, worthless, and ready to give up. Burn those pages now--because they aren't worth a thing.
Of course this isn't true. Of course, every page a write writes is leading to what they will become as an artist. Each word leads them, without fail to a more thorough understanding of what works, and what does not. Input on these words--real honest input only helps a writer find her own path more clearly, more quickly. But true, honest feedback is difficult to come back, for a collection of reason.
These entries will look to determine why this is, and further more, what an effective and helpful writer's workshop looks like, as well as different techniques writer's can employ to get the best out of a workshop experience as a community.