Monday, March 28, 2011

The Limits of Writing Class Workshops

This week, my writing class is supposed to critique this overly verbose, poorly constructed and badly written piece of fiction by one of my classmates. The first lines read something about an eight year old boy witnessing his older siblings engage in a sexual activity. It was so graphic that I couldn't bring myself to go on. Everything in that story was too much. The prologue that I read containing the very charged piece was just too much for my nerves. I started having a physical reaction - dry-heaving and my chest tightening up. Then I just wanted to throw it and scream at this author that he needs help. I have calmed down since yesterday.
But I still feel the same. I can't bring myself to do a close reading of this piece. It's too much. I have since written my critique of it saying that he should tone down the charged scenes. But that's about it as far as anything I can tell him. I felt so violated. I can't even bring myself to go to the class tomorrow.

So, if you were in my shoes, would you do a close reading and critique it?

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