[Allison's] contention was that stories failed to become interesting a lot of the time because the writer hadn't pursued thoroughly enough why the material interested them in the first place: that the writers were just writing a story instead of really examining the material.Why is this idea familiar? For some perverse reason it reminds me of an old SubGenius motto: "You'd PAY to know what you really think!"
She wanted to turn every critique session into a psycho-analytic workshop. I know some folks get crazy about that approach, but I think that there is some value to it, especially for writers who can't seem to make the breakthrough in their writing that they're trying to make. The problem in their stories isn't just a matter of technique and craft, but of limited self knowledge. If they really knew why the material that interested them attracted their attention in the first place, then they'd be more likely to write the unique vision of the material instead of a weak echo of material they'd already read.
Why, yes. Yes, I would. I really would.