I found it easy to toss comments like “Why did the story take place in Iowa?” and “You had too much description.” I should have known to throw out the comment, “How can you have the point of view character die at the end of the story?” That rule takes POV too far. I understand the logic but don’t like the constraint. Some repressed guy probably thought that one up one night while he was out drinking.
Many people had very interesting, well-written stories in this class. However, it was obvious that people were not taking my teacher’s rules seriously when they mentioned their work had been workshopped before. His rule about writing everything for the workshop during the semester was a tough one and he didn’t enforce it.
I was one of the few people who wrote all of my submissions during the semester. Even complying with that requirement got me in trouble. Later on, he complained that I didn’t let him review my novel in progress. I tried to explain that I’d written it before the workshop began and that I’d decided to practice on short stories that semester, but that mid-Atlantic skepticism was there again and I guess he didn’t believe me.