On Friday (15 March) evening I attended a class at the Provo library called “Critique 101.”  It helped aspiring writers learn how to conduct, and comport themselves at, a critique session.  (I used the words “comport themselves” because it came up at church today and the lady who mentioned it [read it from the manual] didn’t seem to know what it meant.)

I may speak more about the class, but I want to address a statement I heard the teacher, Carol Lynch Williams, make.  Keep in mind that I was taking notes and there was a lot going on around me, so I didn’t quite catch everything she said and may have misunderstood what I did hear.

Sometimes writers have the impression that their work was sent to them from God.  They may feel inspired to write exactly what they wrote, then feel reluctant to change any of it because they don’t wish to offend their divine source, or they feel it arrived in perfect condition and they must not mess with it.

Here’s what I think Carol Lynch Williams said about that, “God doesn’t write that badly.”

I’ve been pondering that idea for a few days.

I do believe we are inspired to write things.  I’ve felt so myself.  But I think that because we are not writing scripture, God, in effect, gives us some raw material and expects us to improve it.  In the parable of the talents, in the book of Luke, each servant is given one talent.  Most of them improve their talent, but the one who doesn’t gets in big trouble.

2 Thoughts on “Carol Lynch Williams class

  1. “…God, in effect, gives us some raw material and expects us to improve it….”

    That is a good point. Amen. 🙂

  2. David on 18 March 2013 at 9:01 AM said:

    I think many times, God gives us thoughts and concepts, and we try to put them into words. Our words are imperfect “translations” of the original impression. And then they get “translated” again when someone else reads them and interprets them through their own lens of experience and meaning. We shouldn’t feel bad about working on the words, both from our own perspective as writer and from the secondary perspective of the reader, to get them to more nearly approximate the original gift.

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