Tuesday, December 17, 2013

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You can't please everyone






Hard truth: Not all critiques are good ones. Most people are sincerely trying to help and most of the time they have a legit reason for what they’re saying. But that doesn’t mean you have to take their advice.

Because you will never get everyone on board. It just won’t happen. Some people will “get” you and your work. Some won’t and that’s totally okay. We hear this a lot when it comes to finding an agent or editor or mentor, or whatever. Rejections are often subjective, meaning a “no” doesn’t mean it’s bad. But this also goes for critiques.

The thing is, there is a big range of reactions to critiques. We love it, hate it, get it but still hate it, have absolutely no idea how to actually *do* it, want to punch the person in the face through your computer screen, scream out “YOU JUST DON’T GET IT!” or kiss the person for being so damn spot on it’s insane. 

Critiques, just like everything else, are subjective. It’s okay to disregard some advice/suggestions. But it’s not okay to ignore it. Why? Because they might be totally completely right and you are just too damn stubborn to see it.

If a critique doesn’t hit you square in the face making you say “DUH!!” or “Ooh!”, then let it sit. Don’t react. Don’t respond. Give yourself a little distance. Then really think about what they were saying and why. Maybe reread whatever it is they were commenting on and try to see it through their eyes. A lot of times there is *something* wrong, or at least something that can be improved on, they might have just suggested the wrong fix or their comments came across wrong, or again, you were just too stubborn to see clearly. 

Or, maybe they were wrong. Maybe they have a different view point and want your work to be something you don’t want it to be. That’s okay. That’s just a difference in opinions. Sometimes the words you use don’t click for them, don’t inspire the kind of image you were looking for. Play around and see if you can find a new way to get your point across, but if you can’t it’s entirely possible that you are right and they are wrong so don’t stress about it too much. 

This is your work, not theirs.  Do what’s right for you

It’s a balancing act. Opening your mind to possibilities of the critiquers suggestions and really considering what you can do to fix it, and being true to your own creative muse

There is no right or wrong answer, only what is perceived to be the best way to express a thought, image, character, emotion, story etc. What you think is best, is not always going to be what others think is best. Learn from what your peers say, and grow but never let them change you, not really.




4 comments:

  1. Writers also need to realize the CP may not be making suggestions because they want to make the story something the writer didn't intend it to be, but they've not been provided enough information to see where the story is going, or the stakes, etc. So they ask questions, not to be rude, but to see the vision the writer is seeing so they can help rephrase things in an impactful way. But you're absolutely correct, everything is subjective. All suggestions should be taken with a grain of salt: keep what you want, toss what you don't.

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  2. Agreed. They are just trying to help and it's important to see that and think about what they really want you to achieve, but it's also important to learn that it's okay not to agree with someone. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. This is so true and the reason I use different CPs for different projects, it's so subjective.

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  4. I love this post! I agree wholeheartedly with your words, and I'm 100% with the first comment. If CP's question or understood something the wrong way, the bigger possibility is that we didn't explain it clearly enough, not that it was not working, or that they want to change it etc.
    On the other side, many authors say they don't read reviews…I don't understand how they hold back! I may not love it all, but I learn from them.

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