Friday, October 8, 2010

The Critiquer from Hell?

I really don't like to see people cry.

This week I clubbed two individuals, and I was my most polite.

The issues I pointed out covered the gamut of writing—believability, point of view, sequence of events—take a list of literary elements, they were there. The red flowed. Each issue weakened the overall story a smidgen. No individual nit amounted to much. It is the collective impact.

I've been there, and still struggle. But looking back--the harshest critiques I've ever received did more to further my writing craft than any hundred others. It takes time to relearn the grammar we haven't used since sixth grade, understand the writing style used in fiction. We must edit the hell out of our work before we send it to anyone.

And if we aren't getting back red marks out the wazoo, we aren't sharing our work with people who care, or know what they're doing. We just can't catch our own mistakes. We aren't wired that way. It got written because it seemed reasonable in our head at the time—right?

Take every red mark as a gift.

Write Every Day!

Regards, Mac


  1. I prefer the tough crits. My ms is much better because of it. Helps that I love doing revisions. :D

  2. I figure I owe any critique the same care as I use to critique/edit/revise my own manuscripts.

  3. Amen to that, Mac! In my writing group, my stories bleed til they're exsanguinated. LOL!
    But I really appreciate it when my fellow writers do it because I know their comments will only help me get better. And I second what you said. The red marks only ignited my desire to write more.