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Monday, February 4, 2013

Thank you, honest critique partners.

Mondays have become my catch-up days.  Mostly I catch up on sleep, but I try to be productive with other things too.  I began a new job last month, and I'm currently working weekend nights, 12 hour shifts.  This means I'm about worthless on weekends! But I accomplish so much during the week, the new job is worth it.

Anyway, I thought I'd share with you all a response I received from a good writing friend of mine.  He read SHARDS OF GLASS and gave me some good and not so good news.  Isn't that the way it goes sometimes? Hey, truth hurts, but we need to hear it.  And I'm glad he gave me an honest critique. 

So here's the good news.  The emotional element is strong.  Evoking a reader's emotions can be difficult, but that connection is what bonds the reader with the character.  Mission accomplished!

Here's the bad news.  My ending doesn't work. 

Now here's the thing.  Critiques should be reviewed and thoughtfully considered.  However, the writer is the one to make the final decision.  Therefore, I could totally ignore the critique because I love my ending.  I absolutely love it; it makes my romantic heart melt.  But since I respect my writing friend, and since I recently had another critique say the same thing, I've given it a lot of thought.  And I'm afraid they are right.  The ending is almost too good to be true.

Thankfully, there is a silver lining that makes this more bearable.  I can revise the ending to make it more realistic, and the final outcome (for the characters) will eventually be the same.  That outcome just won't be shown in SHARDS. 

So that's my news for today.  Now please excuse me while I catch up on other things....


  1. Yes, critiques can take a while to settle until you can get the good out of them and use them to your benefit. Two people saying the same thing isn't necessarily proof in the pudding, but maybe you'll love the ending even more after whatever changes you may make.

  2. It is true that if more than one crit partner says something then it's worth having another think about, I agree. But as you say the writer is the writer at the end of the day. Glad you have a helpful CP!

  3. My first thought was that if you love your ending, other people will love it, too. But then I remembered I had 3 people tell me the placement of a flashback in my last story was distracting. I moved it, even though I had a good reason for putting it where I did, and it did improve the flow of the chapter.

    If I'm honest with myself though, I knew it wasn't reading well. But I always try to balance critique with what my writing gut is telling me.

    Good luck with your ending.

  4. Taking in a critique requires a balanced approach, I think. We can't be so in love with our story and so closed minded that we can't be objective. But just because a few people say something needs changed doesn't mean it does. We have to review our own work and consider what would be best. There's plenty of advice I've been given that I don't agree with, and there's some things I do agree with and will make applicable changes.'s such a funny process. :)

  5. Sounds like you have a good approach to dealing with critiques, and it sounds like you have good critique partners who will give you honest feedback!

  6. Ouch! But it makes you think, doesn't it? And sometimes the thinking channels your thoughts in and around the plot and pushes them through to something completely different, better and more in tune with the spirit of the story. Whatever you end up doing with the ending, it will be great, I'm sure.

  7. Honest Critique Partners are awesome! And hey, the emotional element strong!!! That's really good!

  8. What a lovely post! I'm glad you were open and didn't get defensive or anything, regarding honest opinions about your work. Learning from others is so important. Enjoy your time catching up, especially on your sleep:)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!