Friday, August 03, 2007

litcritters august originals

We are currently critiquing and workshopping the new LitCritters stories for August. Unlike the previous wriitng assingments, there was no predefined parameter in terms of length (our last two texts had to be novella and short story length); each author was just told to write.

  • Mang Marcing and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Vin Simbulan
  • Adrift on the Street Formerly known as Buendia by Nikki Alfar
  • Definition by Kate Aton-Osias
  • The Corded Lips of Aristeo Lara by Andrew Drilon
  • Fading Echoes by Alexander Osias
  • EVer, After by Dean Francis Alfar

The workshop session last night was blistering with observations and strong opinions as we cut through elements of story and discourse. I believe that we need to harsher when looking at our creations, and deliberately eschew any back-patting. While we support each other's writerly endeavors, we are not a support group for fragile egos. The last thing I want us to be is a group that always finds something nice to say about a text, for the sake of being a "good person" or a "good friend", or for the sake of simply having something nice to say. That kind of "critical approach" (the "friendly-wendy" Filipino style of not wanting to ruffle feathers) provokes my scathing rebuke haha. The demands of good fiction are tough, and we must toughen up too.

This is not to say that we must demolish each other or find something negative in a text when there is none. Simply put, the Filipino writer must learn how to handle critique, and not take personal offense. I've seen too much of the "praise the author" mentality, where even the most dismal writing from whichever famous author is given a thumbs-up - because the said author is in attendance and the critic doesn't want to burn bridges.

We, myself included, need to grow up. If not, then all we'll have are juvenile works and bloated egos - happy people, yes, but poor writers with poor works.

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