Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Critique Mishaps

As I think I stated before I decided to join a few online critique groups. But I'm finding it to be a challenge. I'm getting a crash course on the personalities of writers. Mine included. While some people take criticism well some take it really hard. I can't really blame them - we writers put so much of ourselves into the stories we can't help but to take comments a little personal.

Case in point is a recent posting for a writer in our group. The opening chapter was long and - in my opinion - was overwhelming the reader with tons of information on characters, society, and sociology. Granted the perspective is unique, but all in the first chapter is a bit heavy for a reader. I tried to explain this and a few other points in my critique. By the response I got back from the writer I felt as if she could she would have reached through her keyboard and smacked the hell out of me.

Critiques should be taken in a manner of being positive. Obviously some critique ARE personal attacks, but personally if I disagree with suggestions or critiques I file it away. If I get several that say the same thing than I'll look at it. If not then it is that person's opinion - they are entitled to it. Let's face it what we write isn't going to please EVERYONE. If we could, we'd be on the best sellers list week after week instead of struggling to get out our first book.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference....


  1. I don't belong to a critique group but I have had critiques of my novel done by several different people. The problem I have is the opposite of being defensive...I want to rush and make changes before thinking it over to see if the advice should really be followed. Either way (being defensive or making too many changes) can be damaging to the MS.

  2. Ooh bad reaction from the writer. I think you have to try to take critiques like you say, think about them, and if you don't agree file them away.

  3. yikes!crit groups are harsh sometimes! I gave you an award on my blog.