Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12/07/2011 Writing Wednesday!

Welcome back! After my harrowing day yesterday, I am hopeful that today will be more of a success. I'm looking forward to when my new glasses come in, let me tell you. At least I was able to get some writing done yesterday, that was something.

Today I would like to take a look at criticism, it's not really writing technique or anything, but it is important because you need to expect it. I am bringing this up after my own experience with that reviewer, sometimes people say things because they want to complain, and some of my favorite article writers on Cracked always say don't read the comments (then they point out they have some masochistic joy from reading them anyway), but no matter what, taking a look at what was said and trying to learn from it is important. Even if it's hard to find sometimes.

When I took an art class in high school, we had what were called 'critique days' and that taught us all how to give constructive criticism, and also how to receive it. The important parts were a) don't take it personally, even though it's about something you made, b) listen to everything, even if it's something you don't necessarily want to hear, or completely disagree with, and c) find something in it to learn from it and apply it in the future. This all applies to writing as well, which is why when people send stuff to editors/friends/family and ask them to mark it up what comes back to you is something that look vaguely like what you wrote but now covered in red pen.

Remember the first thing is to not take it personally, there are many reasons why someone could be telling you something, and while there are those that only want to hurt, we're not talking about them right now. We're talking about the ones that honestly want to help you succeed and do so by pointing out places that need improvement. You also don't need to change something just because someone says you should, if they say something doesn't seem to fit, but you really like it and are attached to that point, you can always say you aren't changing it and move on. On the same note, if you are told something by several different people, for example, you need to add more descriptions to your work, that may indeed be something you need to work on, and you can take that back to your drawing board/computer/paper and start adding things to brings your world to life.

Learning how to accept criticism is incredibly hard, and sometimes even when you think you have it down, one or two words can send you into a spiral that's hard to come out of. When/if that happens, sure you'll look at something and be convinced they are wrong, or are mean, or so forth, but eventually when you calm down enough, try to find something to take from it for future reference. Sometimes that last bit is impossible to do, that's fine, that's when you take it with a grain of salt and move on with your life. The important thing is that through it all you are proud of what you've created, and I understand completely that when someone says something about your work that you think is insulting and uncalled for, you get offended and hurt because it's like they are saying those things to an extension of yourself, and most of the time in the writing world they have never met you. I suppose what I'm trying to say is to never lose love and pride for the things you've done.

I'm glad you were all able to stop by today, Friday will be normal with another book up for review. I hope to see you all there, as is the normal, "The Light Rises" is still 50% off at Smashwords with coupon code: UQ59B until Christmas. That combined with "Uncrossed Paths" makes a great gift if you ask me! See you all Friday!

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