Aug 19, 2011

more writing adventures

One thing that I have struggled with is how to approach other writers' writing. I go to critique group, and the point of critique group is to let the other writers know what you enjoyed and also what you feel could be improved in what they have read.

So what do you do when someone at critique group reads something that is objectionable, but not in the writing sense... it's objectionable in the sense that, in real life, if you were reading that book, you'd put it down after the first couple of pages because you are *morally* objecting to the subject matter.

The approach I have taken thus far has been one of "hands off" morals/morality. I only comment on actual writerly mistakes/possible improvements. But it does get akward. I'm heartily glad we don't read one anothers' work in the critique group I currently attend, because even listening turns me beet red on occasion.

The hard thing, as an artist, is to figure out where that "line" really is. It has to be drawn in a different place when you are looking at the works of those who do not share your moral schema. Of course, that doesn't mean you can't do the "normal" missionary work... of being a good example, etc etc. But honestly, I feel there is absolutely no room for preachiness in a writer's critique group.

One of the writers I meet with every wendesday writes Romance novels. And by romance, I mean, ROMANCE, not the mormon girl twilight-hinting-but-not-quite-going-there stuff. Erotica.

Another writer is working on a manuscript that is about a completely amoral demon (who is a very well-written, extremely hilarious character, by the way) and his attempts to "switch sides." IN his story, the roles of God and Satan are, in a way, reversed... well, not reversed. His universe depicts all religions and supernatural beings as sort of human... imperfect in their own ways, ekeing out their own existence and competing for the "worship" of humans. Particularly, the worship/reverence of artists.

It is a great story. In every way.

And in real life, I'd never read it.

But as a critiquer, it completely stuns me. It's pretty amazing.

I feel a bit dissasociative, identity-wise, at times, in my critique group. But in the end, they are also ALL great people. Great, great, great. Funny funny funny. Still my tribe.

What's your thought about artists, and appropriateness, and lines, and morality and how it comes into everything?

1 comment:

Putz said...

my spellin, grammer, puncuation, incomplete sentences, jerky writing bothers ABSOLUETLY EVERYONE except bob brauge who praises me from here to eternity<<>><><>did you ever read my idaho piece???