Friday, October 23, 2009

Critiques: how to read them

I adore Jennifer Cruisie...she's funny, incredibly intelligent, and always has good advice for writers on her blog.

She has a great piece up now on how to process a critique. Here's the top:

The first thing to remember about reading critiques is don’t argue. For the first twenty-four hours, assume everybody’s point is valid. This is harder when you have people saying two directly opposite things, but keep an open mind.

The second thing, after that twenty-four hours is up, is to have a damn good reason for rejecting any criticism. Think it through, don’t just discard it out of hand. If you can’t justify it without explaining for fifteen minutes, go back and look at it again.

The third thing is to remember is that not everybody is your reader for every book. One of my best beta readers hated Wild Ride. Sometimes something you’ve written hits too close to home, something you’ve put in the book is a deal breaker for them, and sometimes they just don’t like it. Fortunately, the other betas liked Wild Ride, but if I’d only had that one critique, I’d have been seriously rattled. So never change anything based on one outlier unless it’s something you agree with.

Be sure to read the rest.

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