Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Stories Are Mine, and Yours Are Yours

"So what are the things you want me to change in my story," my Intro to Fiction Writing student asked today in my office.

"Nothing," I said.

"Huh?" she said.

"I don't WANT you to change anything. It's not my story."

"Don't you like it? Then why don't I have an A on it yet?"

"Because your grade on it is based upon YOUR understanding of what's not quite working craft-wise and your ability to try and work with it. There are several things I like about it, like ____, _____, and ______. But I want to see YOU thinking about it and what can make it better. I brought up ____, _____, and _____ during workshop."

"So, I need to change THOSE things?" she asked.

"Well, I'd start with the things YOU see that need work--if they're coming from my feedback, sure."

"I understand," she said, "that I need to be able to understand story structure myself, but do you know you are EXASPERATING?"

"I know," I said, "but it's YOUR story."

She laughed. "Can I grade myself?"

"That would be so much easier for me. I love helping and suggesting. I HATE grading."



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