Critiquing

Critiquing

One thing that writers face on a regular basis is criticism for their works. Some of us need it and some need it a lot more. This goes to both good and bad. Good writing needs good criticism to keep it up to par. It is always appreciated, even though some writers don’t always say so. We are our own worst critics, so when someone says that the chapter we wrote doesn’t work; it isn’t much of a surprise. We know it doesn’t work or we suspect it. Telling us is confirmation that allows us to go back and fix what was missed, or if already published, a good lookout for the next book.

For those of you writing a comment or critique, don’t take issue if the author doesn’t appreciate the feedback. Some of us are thin skinned and often want to write well, but don’t yet have the discipline to continue when others are being critical of our works. I was once in this position and ended up giving up my writing passion for years. (More than a decade) If not for a challenge I discovered when nearing my fortieth b-day, I likely would have continued to steer clear of writing.

Thankfully, I didn’t avoid my passion and now can continue weathering the storm of daily life with the joy of my dreams.

When receiving a critique, I appreciate all comments, good and bad. The good will always be appreciated as it tells me the story has provided enjoyment to those who read it. The bad is also worth having simply because I don’t see what you do. If a typo sneaks in, I might have stared at it for a hundred pass-overs and missed it because it was so obvious. I am thankful every time someone sees this and helps me to be a better writer. When someone points out what they didn’t like about my story, I hope that it isn’t just a general dislike. If you don’t like the kind of stories you are reading, then criticizing them makes no sense. Find what you like and help the writers you read get better. Don’t waste time disliking a genre, book or author just because they don’t write what you prefer. Move along and add to your likes. In the end, it is better for us all.

The best critiques make it clear that the reader wanted to like the story. If there was some element missing, then I for one want to know. By the time I publish, I’ve gone through my story hundreds of times and re-edited so many times, I don’t see the words anymore. I begin a paragraph and my mind is in the story. I see what I want you to see, but not always what is there.

That’s why the comments I get feel like readers tossing me nuggets of gold. Yes, they sometimes hurt. (Especially when you use a slingshot for the delivery) but I need them. They help me craft a better tale and help provide you with stories you can share.

In the end, that’s what every creative outlet is for: To share these dreams with the world and make it a little more enjoyable for us all.

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