Currently i am editing a short story for an anthology my crit groups is putting together. My hopes for it making the final cut arnt strong but im giving it a go anyway. Why you ask? Because there are more entries than places and about half are published authors. So although i do have a shot, its not likely. When i was told this i thought, oh well, but it was put to me in a way that they thought i may quit writing as a result. I know artists are touchy about their work but really if you want to make it you have to be able to take rejection. You also have to be able to take criticism. Your crit partner tells you to re write, its probably for the best, that whole chapter doesn’t work, OK ill take a look.
I have only ever been given bad advice twice. The first time i ignored it until two contest judges said the same thing so i changed it. This was having both the hero and heroines POV….considering a publisher just asked me to put the hero’s POV back into this story i would say that it was bad advice. The second piece was more recent and they told me that my voice was all wrong. I ignored this for two reasons, one it wasn’t from a long time partner, she was new and hadn’t really shown me i could trust her yet, and second, a persons voice is never ‘wrong’. Its their voice, how they write, what makes their story different from another persons. It can never just be wrong. Perhaps she used the wrong wording but she also asked me to change several things i knew to be correct so i didn’t have much faith in her crit. I thanked her of course as I think its very unprofessional to diss someone who is trying to help and she is very good at picking up POV and tense, but i will now take her crits with a grain of salt. (Don’t panic its no one who reads this blog in case you were thinking its you 😛 ).
So, I believe i am really good at accepting criticism. I always pay attention and never yell at a partner who has tried to help me. Frankly i know that they may comment on all of it but only really expect you to change 60% of what they suggest. But if they don’t point it out, how will you know its odd? My philosophy when critting is to point out everything and let them decide what to change. That way its still their work and their voice but you just point out, as a reader, what you find distracting or not quite right. And frankly i would rather a lovely crit partner do this than an Editor who i am sorry to say doesn’t have the time to tell you what parts of your story are great! they will just tell you what to delete and change. A crit partner will laugh (LOL), highlight (I really liked this) and tell you what they think should happen when your heroine gets stuck up a tree with no panties on! They are your buffer and I’m ever thankful for that!!
Have you been given bad advice? Had a great crit?