After attending a writer's workshop this past weekend, I found myself swimming in enough over-used cliches, and tripe filled superlatives, that Michael Phelps would've needed a life jacket, and a flotation device. These are just a few of my observations regarding the "4th Annual Writer's Workshop" (whose organization shall remain nameless) to protect the innocent and the not-so innocent. My views in no way reflect the merit of the attendees, and I apologize in advance for this lopsided precis.
The moderator, an author of several books, currently works as a "life coach" and part-time agent/editor. His presentation was a confusing summary of the genres he liked and didn't like. The prepared lecture, littered with trite euphemisms, and tired expressions that "everybody uses" was predictable and uninspiring. Phraseology such as "spontaneous combustion" "make no mistake" and using the words "like" and "drama" as a verb and a noun at the end of every other sentence lacked an interesting and intelligent use of the English language.
Seconds before half of the participants had exited the classroom, he decided to praise a few of the attendees by reading their writing samples in a fake Shakespearean accent. I listened peevishly as he read a gritty, character driven selection, written by a retired farmer from Sugar Ditch, Mississippi. While this brilliantly crafted narrative was deflowered by the ostentatious moderator, the few remaining dumb asses (myself included) didn't dare budge. We were altogether intrigued by this guy's effusive theatrics. Humbly, he concluded his lecture by passing a collection plate. Everybody shifted their butts, gathered their belongings, and when he wasn't looking we bolted for the door.
Disillusioned, I went home, and wracked-up everything I hated most about the workshop. From the cliches, meaningless rhetoric, people with Master's Degrees in Creative Writing, to the network marketers hosting the workshop trying to sell soap and market their "professional services" to unsuspecting authors. As the mental flatulence ejected from the seat of my pea-sized brain, I felt as confused as a duck wearing rubber gloves and wool socks in the middle of a sandstorm.