How to Make the Most of Your Workshop

Are you in your first workshop? It’s a rare and wonderful opportunity to have an entire group of people reading and thinking about your work, doing everything they can to help you improve it. So we know how valuable a workshop is — how do you intend to make the most of your time? When you enter a workshop for the first time, it’s important to have a clear sense of your expectations, as well as what you want to know from your peers.

Consider these questions yourself. They are just examples of some the questions you will want to ask:

Were my characters well-drawn?
Was the story believable?
Was the story engaging? Did you want to find out what happened?
Was the writing strong and unique?

It’s also important to be brave and ask the tough questions about what needed work:

Were there instances of overwriting?
Was the plot too absurd?
Was a particular scene weak or unbelievable?
How can I make this story’s ending come together better?

After all, the easiest way to waste a workshop is to only ask for softballs to be thrown at you. Making the most of a workshop takes courage and dedication; you’ve got to be willing to make your work the best it can be, even if it means hearing some hard truths about its current state.

So let me open this up to commenters. What do you want to get out of a workshop? And what questions do you ask your peers when your story is on the chopping block?

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