Well. one hopes by now the students have done sufficient reading of models of good creative writing. One hopes they have learned certain principles from exercises done in class and lectures. I've held "studios" in my class where they work in class on their stories, using criteria sheets on story writing, and I visit with them.
NOW WE START THE WORKSHOPS. Our rule is that we must accept the underlying philosophy of each student in his or her story. If someone writes an atheist story, then our job is not to get into an argument about religion but to help the person make it the best story they can.
We want to say positive, supportive things, to give praise where praise is due, but we also want to give constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is where one not only tells what is wrong, but offers advice on how to fix it.
MORE TALK ON WORKSHOPS NEXT TIME AND HOW MUCH FUN THEY ARE!