Monday, August 13, 2012

Harsh Critiques

I haven't been writing seriously for very long, probably about two years.  But in those two years I have experienced some harsh critiques.

At first, they hurt, as anything that says your baby isn't good enough would.  Okay, let me be honest.  For a while they hurt.  I would yell in my head at the people who critiqued them, saying they didn't understand my book, or that they were just being mean.

And sometimes that was true.  But I also learned a lot from some of those critiques.  Since then, I've been able to separate myself more from the critiques and to look at the critiques with a better eye, not letting my emotion get in the way as much.  But it still hurts.

Every time I get a harsh critique, it reminds me to be a nice critiquer.  It doesn't mean that I shouldn't be truthful.  But there is always a way to make suggestions in a positive constructive way.  And let me tell you positive and constructive critiques are soooo much more helpful than harsh ones.

I just got a critique back from the awesome Amanda Olivieri and her critique was amazing.  She gave me the best advice without being harsh at all.  And even though I have a lot more to change and fix, her critique actually made me feel invigorated to start revisions again!  This is how all critiques should be.

Plus, you don't know what's going on in other peoples lives, if they've had a bad day, whatever.  Wouldn't you rather build someone up than bring someone down?  It's about making the MS the best that it can be, and I think that the best way to do this is to be positive in the critique.


11 comments:

  1. hearing a harsh critique IS hard, but when done right, they are the best way to improve your work :)

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    1. I liked critiques that make me really think about what the critiquer is saying. Some of my best rewrites came from harsh critiques, but I feel like there's still away to have a good critique without being unpleasant.

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  2. Great post! You're completely right -- harsh critiquers (is that a word? I don't know) may know exactly what you need to fix in your MS, but the way they give you that advice can be enough to make you think they're the worst changes in the world.

    Honest but uplifting critique is something that every writer should learn.

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    1. Honest but uplifting is a great way to put it! The way one gives advice can definitely alter the way the advice is perceived.

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  3. I totally agree with this, you can be honest without being rude, and each party will benefit from that!

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    1. Absolutely! It's the best for each person this way.

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  4. Yay! Oh, this makes me so happy :D COTF is awesome and I'm so happy I got to read it!!

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    1. I'm so glad you go to read it too!! So so helpful, I can't thank you enough :)

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    2. I tagged you in the Be Inspired Bloghop Meme! Info on my blog :)

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  5. I'm so glad! Hard work pays off, really. I know what you mean about being critiqued though. I feel as though sometimes it can be harsh, and others it can be very constructive. People critiquing should make sure they aren't squashing our dreams to the ground when they are trying to "help." Luckily, other writers are wonderful and are in our same boat.

    Glad we are all meeting on WriteOnCon!

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    1. Agreed! I'm so thankful for those writers who are awesome and make great suggestions without being harsh :)

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