Photo credit: Deirdre Saoirse Moen. Today's guest post is by Wolf Pascoe. Wolf is a playwright, poet, and physician. Visit his blog, Just Add Father. Every so often, I read a blog post about how to listen to criticism. More rarely do I run across suggestions for how to give feedback.
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Photo credit: Deirdre Saoirse Moen. Today's guest post is by Wolf Pascoe. Wolf is a playwright, poet, and physician. Visit his blog, Just Add Father. Every so often, I read a blog post about how to listen to criticism. More rarely do I run across suggestions for how to give feedback. For the past ten years, I've been a member of a group of playwrights that meets once a month to support one another's work.
We have a specific way of criticizing our plays that has kept us on track. The method was developed by the MacArthur winning choreographer Liz Lerman to work with dancers. Lerman calls it Critical Response Process. The technique works for any sort of art, any writing.
In our group, we call it the Lerman Method. I use the word group here, but the method works just as well one-on-one.
It works in person or in correspondence. It works with any written form or genre. Also, the order is important. Opinions are the least helpful. You just say what you found meaningful, evocative, startling, or exciting in the work. You told me everything I needed to know, and left the rest to my imagination. Statements of meaning are helpful for writers at any stage of development. How can they help but be?
Beginning with positives has nothing to do with politeness or with sugarcoating bad news. Focused on the problems, they discount what comes easy. I went to a film once and cried. I thought it was a great film. Afterward, I read a critical review and learned all the things that the filmmaker had done wrong. I felt tricked. I began to talk it down. One of the other playwrights in my group happened to ask me about the film.
I told her the whole story. You had a real response to it. It was important and genuine to you. There was something to be learned about writing from watching boxing matches or going to the racetrack. The message wasn't clear. It was wordless, like a house burning, or an earthquake or a flood, or a woman getting out of a car, showing her legs.
I didn't know what other writers needed; I didn't care, I couldn't read them anyway. I was locked into my own habits, my own prejudices. It wasn't bad being dumb IF the ignorance was all your own. Step 2: Questions from the writer The writer asks, the group responds. This begins a dialogue that supports the writer in solving problems on her own. Step 3. Questions from the group members The group asks, the writer answers. Are you allowed to ask questions that may have embedded opinions, such as involving awkward exposition?
Wolf Pascoe is a playwright, poet, and physician. You can read his essay the first half of it, anyway about what open drop ether was like in The Sun Magazine: Going Under. He believes there are interesting ways to write about fathers and sons that do not involve charming videos, recommended products, or opinions about child rearing. Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms.
This week, we look at the rinnard, which is an Irish quatrain form. Every good story needs a nice or not so nice turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, we'll look at how an unexpected action by a character can send the action in a new direction. Taken from our December issue, follow these 10 steps to beginning a rewarding, fulfilling career as a writer. Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog.
This week, write a calm poem. While at home in isolation, it is still important to appreciate the small things that bring us great joy. For this week's market spotlight, we look at Ploughshares, a quarterly literary journal. Currently open for submissions June 1, to January 15, Learn when you're using empathy vs. This week, we look at the soledad, which is a Spanish tercet form. Write Better Fiction. Short Story. Writing Techniques. Write Better Nonfiction. Personal Writing.
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4 Steps to Useful Critiques: The Lerman Method
Teacher professional development workshops are transformative for teachers insofar as they allow for collaborative insights to be reached through inquiry, dialogue, and feedback in an environment that is supportive, inclusive and open. The Critical Response Process is a process for receiving constructive feedback in a supportive group in which participants are assigned specific roles. As Liz Lerman's website states:. Critical Response Process CRP is a feedback system based on the principle that the best possible outcome from a response session is for the maker to want to go back to work. Whether returning to the studio, the desk, the kitchen, or the laboratory, CRP gives tools both to people who are making work and people who are responding to that work.
Liz Lerman's Critical Response Process