MFA in Creative Writing - Karen Osborn
I know I'm successful in my teaching if the writers I work with end up sounding nothing like me and nothing like each other. In my responses to writers about their work, I try to find ways to lead them towards the sounds of their own voices. I believe that being shown what works in a piece of fiction is as valuable, if not more valuable, than being told what needs to be improved. If we can identify for ourselves where the story or the characters or the voice lies, we can go there again more deeply and with more precision. I try to be a mirror for the students' work, reflecting back what they've done so that they can see it more clearly for themselves. I ask questions of the narrative and the characters and try to find where the heart of the story lies. Often, once that heart is found, the work that needs to done to finish the story or make it resonate more powerfully becomes clear. Any answers for the work ultimately reside within the writer.