I’m having a great time in the University of Iowa’s How Writers Write Fiction MOOC. I’m quite impressed with how much the course staff have put into it–good, in-depth craft advice, well-chosen readings, etc. There are a lot of complaints about the NovoEd platform; it seems like maybe that’s not as mature as it needs to be. The course content is great, though, and there’s a lot of sincere participation from the students.

Which brings me to my problem. I’ve submitted two pieces that involve conflict between women, and the peer feedback for both has included something along the lines of “make sure it’s more than just a catfight!”

Ugh. MOOC aside, is it even possible to write a conflict between two women that doesn’t get read as a catfight? Nobody’s scratching anybody with fingernails in the scenes I write, I promise, and they’re not always talking about boys. One of the pieces described the clothing of one of the characters–it was relevant, I swear! What the hell are we supposed to do? Should I even waste my energy worrying about this when I write? (Too late!)