Okay, first and formost - I LOVE my instructor. She's smart and cool and enthusiatic and fun. All the things I could ever hope for in a writing instructor. Also, she's not at all afraid to tell you exactly what she thinks of your writing, but she does it so enthusiastically that you come out feeling flattered rather than offended. For example, I submitted Chapter 18 of Bonded and Broken to the class to be critiqued. The instructor didn't know about fanfiction and when I explained it to her the response I got back was - "You mean you write stories and post them on the internet for people to read for FREE? You've got to stop doing that! Write something original and get paid for it! You're too good for that."
So wow! That was majorly flattering even though she basically discounted everything I'd been doing up to this point.
There are seven people in the class and at first I thought it was going to be a really great mix. Two of the guys from my beginners class decided to take this class and I'm really excited to continue working with them both. The rest of the class is new to me; most of them came from different beginners classes. They are all women and I was hopeful they would be able to relate to my writing style.
However, one of the women shreded my chapter. She circled every single sentence and paragraph that didn't have action or dialogue in it and said she thought the story would be better without them. Any thought or feeling Dean had was a waste of space. She obviously doesn't get me or my writing style AT ALL. To me, the emotions are the reason for telling the story. The action and the case!fic are the background, but the connection between the boys is the story.
During class, we aren't allowed to defend ourselves while our writing is being critiqued. I can understand that because no one would want to offer feedback if they thought they were going to get their head chewed off. So I just had to sit there and listen while she told me that most of my writing was detracting from the story. I've been stewing about it ever since and I don't know what to do about it. I'm not planning on changing my style and that means that every class I'm probably going to get the same types of comments from her.
I know somehow it will all work out. I had the same reservations at the beginning of the last class and ended up loving it and every one of my classmates. :-) I just needed to rant a bit.