Wednesday, March 23, 2011
When A Critique Makes You Want To Cry
We're human, right? So a tiny (or sometimes not-so-tiny) part of us wants this from every critique of our manuscripts: "Oh my gosh. It was fantastic. I can't think of anything I would do to change it."
Would that critique improve us as writers? No.
Would it make for the absolute best finished product? Probably not. (Unless, of course, you really ARE that perfect already).
Would it make us feel good? Dang right.
But being critiqued isn't necessarily designed for "making us feel good." The whole concept is designed to help us improve our craft. My full-time critique partner has been so very helpful to me as I've mentioned time and time again. Switching manuscripts has been the tool that has improved me the most.
I didn't have a critique partner on my first novel, and now I often wish I did.
Last night I received a critique from another author of my WIP. This critique--if I'm honest--made me consider taking my current WIP to the trash bin, lighting a match and never donning the title "writer" again. These thoughts actually went through my mind: "What am I doing? Why am I spending so much time on this if I suck so much? I could definitely stay on top of laundry better if I weren't writing so much."
But then, I knew that was flawed thinking. I don't want to be a writer who only wants the good news. If things are wrong with my work, I need to address them to have a final novel I am proud of.
So, starting tomorrow--hey, I deserve at least one day of total self-loathing don't I?--I will drag myself up by the bootstraps and dive back in. I thought I was finished with revising, but I now know I am not. Wish me luck on Revisions/Take 3.
To me, having a good book is better than finishing by a certain date on the calendar. I'll get there, I know it, just probably not by April 1, like I hoped.
Please, someone give me some uplifting news... Have you ever had a hard-to-swallow critique that greatly improved your manuscript?
Posted by Maggie at 7:13 AM