I recently ran across a quote that I think is brilliant! For a long time, I've heard (and totally believe in) two different pieces of advice that I've had a hard time reconciling.
The first piece of advice is that you need to have a good (and very strong) sense of your book, so when critiquers suggest you do different things, you know which voices to listen to. If you don't, your book will head a million different directions, trying to please everyone, and it'll end up worse than when you started.
I totally believe in this.
The second I'm not sure if I've ever heard, or if it's just the way I feel. Whenever I hear about an issue from a critique partner, I figure that person represents a slice of the bigger pie that will one day be my readers. If I don't find a way to address that issue, then all the people that critique partner represents will have the same issue.
I totally believe in this, too.
Yet they seem to be at odds with each other.
Then I ran across a quote from Neil Gaiman that explains why those two can both be true, and coexist. Are you ready? Here it is:
"Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong."~Neil Gaiman
I had never heard this quote before, which surprises me. The thing is pure gold! There's a big difference between a critique partner bringing an issue to your attention, and them telling you how to fix it. (Which explains why you sometimes really bristle at a suggestion.) And of course, asking a critique partner to brainstorm ways in which the issue could be fixed is something else entirely, and can be so so so helpful.
Now that we've had such a breakthrough, let's skip the cookies and go straight for the donuts, shall we?
|Thank you, Shutterstock.com!|
Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!!