Friday, March 18, 2011

Writing a Book - Feedback

Take feedback with a grain of salt.

As a new writer I know my book is not "literary" quality. There is so much I don't know about writing a "proper" book. I write my story. I put myself in the characters' shoes. What would they see? How would they feel? How would they look and react and dress and express themselves? That stuff is easy.

To get the necessary tools that make a book more publishable, I need feedback on how I am writing. (I thrive on it! Love me!) So I submitted the first section of another book (Broken Branch Falls) and had it critiqued. The first chapters of books are fun to write so it was easy to shoot it off. And I edited it several times before putting it out there for critique. I thought it was great. But as I said in "Eyes Opened" they really tore it up. "POP" went my balloon.

I also just wrote a query for Pop Travel and put it up in "Query Letter Hell" - because it truly is. I thought it was great too! It was succinct, it had voice, I told about my plot. I always crack myself up with how witty I am (there I go again!).

And guess what. It was crap. I'm exaggerating, maybe a crap +. But when you get the raw, honest opinions of other writers, that's what it feels like. I just have to remind myself that it's for my benefit. Tear it down to build it up, it isn't personal, it's for my own good, bla bla bla. That's why you need a thick skin to write. But it really does help.

So read the crits and try not to let them get to you. Leave it alone for a while. Coming back to it, use advice as you see fit. Even if some of my lines are "cheesy" - that's part of my voice. I just need to fine tune it. Pay attention to the technical advice and think about the opinions and then rewrite. The point of getting critiques is constructive criticism.

If your goal is to be published that means you want the whole world to read your stuff. But everyone is different and everyone has an opinion. I want an agent to like my stuff and ask to read more. This isn't just for my personal enjoyment, no matter how quippy I think I am...

2 comments:

Theresa Milstein said...

Tara, it's not easy being critiqued. When I had my first ones, I realized I still had a lot to learn. As I write more, they're less severe. But I'm always amazed about what others pick up that I miss. And I don't incorporate all of them. It's instinct.

Have a great weekend! Head over to my blog for a 500 followers contest when you get a chance.

Tara Tyler said...

Thanks, Theresa! I think the crits get easier to take as you improve your writing (hopefully!). And I will be entering your contest - there are so many busy bloggers this Friday. Must be spring fever!