Friday, March 11, 2011

The Truth Hurts

Well, chapter one was finally put up for critique on Critique Circle. And while I waited patiently to receive rave reviews, my curiosity grew as my story showed the number of critiques at zero after almost a full day. Surely someone must have skimmed the brilliant piece of literature by now and wanted to tell me I was the next big thing. Right? But the clocked continued to tick away with nothing. But then, as the day nearly drew to a close, I had a message. Someone had critiqued my story. So with nervous hands I opened the message and began reading. It started out well as penned by Uforia9:

I love this opening. It hooks me immediately— it shows that the narrator is not a believer in 'destiny,' if you will, and it makes me want to know about this Karen character. What has she done that has prompted the narrator to tell his or her story to us? I read on.

Ah ha! I was right! It's brilliant. Right? But then Uforia9 continued with small things like:

This reads awkwardly

You mentioned in the paragraph above that Brandon Tramble doesn't pay attention to fashion. Why is the narrator reminded of his own lack of fashion when he's around his roommate?

I'd suggest proofreading your next draft a little more carefully to reduce the amount of spelling and grammatical errors. Something that helps me with that (as well as discovering the flow of a story, and where things do and do not work) is by reading it out loud to myself.

Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of good that was found but my nature is to focus on the bad.

By the next morning another critique had come in. And Avengir thought:

Honestly, I'm a little bored here. I just want to get into the story, not get bogged down with a big block of text about coincidence and fate.

Again, some positive things but... And so I typed away with a painted on smile my thanks to both Uforia9 and Avengir for taking not only the time to read my story but to actually sit down and give some honest and helpful feedback. And the thing I finally had to admit was, they're right! Everything they said was pretty much spot on and I've learned that if you're going to be a writer, this goes with the territory. Regardless of who you are. After all, how many of our greatest modern day writers have been critiqued or turned away by publishers? This would be a great place to insert a number or a list of names but I won't. Mainly because I'm on a tight schedule today and have a five hour drive to make. But trust me, it's a lot!

And so I keep on, six hundred words today and then back to chapter one to work on some small editing thanks to my new friends Uforia9 and Avengir. I know there will be more critiques by the time the weekend is over but my skin has toughened and I have grown. And so I say to them...bring it.


  1. Of course, it is human nature to focus on the bad. You have to read your critiques once, put them away, and come back to them later. The next day, perhaps, you come back and suddenly you understand what they meant.

    Keep painting on that smile. You'll be well recieved for it.

  2. Thanks Ryan! It is tough but like I said, as much as I hate to admit it...they were right!

  3. Interesting read, I know what you mean.
    I find CC to be a great way to get used to critting other peoples work. I now know what my own strong and weak spots are, both in writing and in critting.
    A lot harder is doing that same thing in a classroom with people twice your age (I'm only 22) who have no prior experience with this and then do that same thing.
    At least on CC I can imagine everyone is my age, in class I am confronted with the opposite. Although apparently they appreciate what I do to their works.

    Keep it up and keep writing :)