So six weeks ago I started a nine week creative writing course. Every Thursday evening I go along and our small group looks at different topics to do with creative writing (such as plot, character etc - when I've finished the whole course I will post a summary blog covering interesting things I've picked up).
On our first session, everyone in the group shared the different genres they are interested in writing and work they've started. When it came to my turn, I described the types of books I enjoy starting with YA. My tutor immediately said, "Oh you're not into all this vampire stuff, are you? I can't stand it." Straight away, I felt my interests were demeaned and seen as a 'lower' form of writing. And probably only because of its current popularity.
During the last session we looked at some typical plot scenarios, and ended up discussing whether new stories can be original. The tutor chose the example of vampire novels to say how these plots and stories and just re-hashed over and over.
I would certainly disagree, having just read 'Of Saints and Shadows' (Shadow Saga #1) by Christopher Golden. This takes a different angle to the vampire theory and has some unexpected twists at the end. (A fair amount of graphic violence, but a good read!)
Now surely there are a number of different genres that could be said to be 're-hashed', such as romance or crime - a crime's committed, a detective investigates, crime is solved...
I felt that he was picking on vampire stories because of his own particular dislike for them.
Since that first session, I haven't been able to feel comfortable reading out any of my work, or even felt able to like my tutor. Even though he has said we can give him some of our own writing to critique, I don't want to, because how can I trust that his own biases won't influence his feedback...?
I'm wondering whether I'm taking it all a bit too personally (which admittedly I often do), or am I right in feeling aggrieved at my tutor for imposing his own subjective view on which genres are better than others?
Do you think that a tutor of a creative writing class should be able to
express his own personal likes and dislikes of genres,
or do you think he should remain impartial in order not to
offend his students own writing preferences.