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Meanderings on The Usefulness of Crit

I’m finished with the first five chapters of edits on Stripped and am now moving into the second half of the novella. Thank you so much Megan for your most excellent crit (and my beta readers who always give me great feedback) I’ve added a bit of backstory to my heroine to explain why she’s the way she is and woven other chunks of backstory into the novella as a whole. I’ll have it to my agent by Wednesday as promised, yay!

It set off this whole introspective thing in me last night as I was thinking on the nature of crit and how I deal with it as an author.

It takes a lot for me to send out work to crit at this stage of my writing because I normally don’t send to beta and crit until the third draft but I didn’t have the time and so it’s rougher than it would be normally. Showing my stuff, warts and all, at early stages makes me neurotic and freaks me out. But it has to be done and it makes the final product better.

And so for me anyway, I take crit in the spirit it’s offered. It helps to know what other people I trust think. I don’t want fluffy crit. I don’t want harsh for the sake of harsh either but I want straightforward crit so I can just get to the point without having to salve my ego. I can’t fix it if I don’t know what’s wrong. And I’m not perfect and neither is my writing, I’m a work in progress.

I was just thinking about how far I’ve come after doing this a few years. Some of the comments I received, if I’d gotten them a year ago, I wouldn’t have known how to fix it or it would have been this long, arduous process. Now I know how to add even a paragraph here or there to make a huge difference overall. So each time I do this I learn and as I want to do this for the rest of my life, I have to keep making things better. You can’t do that if you don’t try and put yourself out there.

Half the importance of crit is finding people who you click with and who you can trust. The other half is taking what you need and ignoring what you don’t but still benefitting from everything that’s said.

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