In college fiction writing classes, there’s one thing you’ll do a lot, and that’s workshopping short stories. I’ve written a lot of short stories and read a lot of short stories in classes and writers’ groups. In college, short stories are used for creative writing education because they’re short.
Short stories are short. That makes sense.
The reason creative writing professors need the stories they use to be short is because you spend most of your time in creative writing classes workshopping your fellow students’ short stories. In return, they workshop yours. Workshopping short stories can be a very helpful tool, not only when you’re starting out with creative writing, but throughout your creative writing life.
Here’s the thing about me and workshops:
People who let me workshop their stories don’t like me after I give back their story. I scratch things out on the page if they’re boring, if they do something that pulls me out of the story, or if I know that the sentence could be better. I scratch things out a lot more if what I’m reading is a short story. Short stories don’t linger. (more…)