Monday, January 08, 2007

I know it helps me grow but...

I received a pretty harsh critique on the first chapter of a book I'm working on and, while I tell myself to expect such reactions from some people, it still kind of takes me by surprise and makes me feel less than I am. The thing is, she was right. Some of the things I'd written just didn't add up to reality but having them pointed out to me as harshly as they were made me feel small and a bit sad. I stewed about it for days until I finally gathered up my courage and asked the woman who'd given the critique for some help in making my story stronger by making it more realistic and since she is an expert in the field that I am writing about, I figured that she could help me better than most...and you know what? She was more than happy to help and I gained some very valuable information that will make my story better than ever.

So, while I was bothered and hurt initially, I grew from the experience and learned something that will help me be better than I am and the one thing I love to do most.


Anonymous said...

Hey Danielle, the thing is we shouldn't have to expect harshness from some people. Constructive critism doesn't have to heavy handed.

However, you have a great attitude about it, and you've learned something from the experience.

Was this a CP? Someone you'll be working with again? If so, hopefully s/he won't be needlessly harsh again!

Danielle said...

Elle, the person was a random person that read my post at a writer's website. Actually two people critiqued it, one was a bit more harsh than the other and the one that was less harsh was the one I contacted and asked for help. She was very gracious and extremely helpful so changing the first chapter of my story wasn't as hard as it could have been.

It's such a great story that needs to be told, I just hope that I can tell it in a way that will do it justice and make people love these characters as much as I do.

Shara Jones said...

Good to see you get some perspective on your harsh critique. Its not necessary to be harsh and demeaning, but it is crucial for the critiquer to be honest.

You still don't have to agree, but honesty is what you need to expect. It's only one person's opinion. If two people give the same sort of comment, or three, then it bears more weight. Still doesn't mean you have to change a thing... just that they are hitting on the same point, which bears reflecting on.

And yay on the request!

Danielle said...

I agree, Shara, and the things they pointed out were things that I really needed to change so changing them I am...even though it's really hard because I love this story and I liked where it was going before...I just need to get passed that and find a way to make me love it going in the new direction too.