You probably have seen this post on QueryTracker.net. If not, go check it out because it pretty much sums up what I did to WiP #1 and I'm now bandaging up my wicked thrashing.
When I started this project, I was desperate to find out people's opinions (okay, after I got over the squeezing pain in my stomach,well, I never got over this.) I was a critique whore. Yeah, doesn't sound so good, but I needed to know how I was doing. The only way I learn is through doing, so why not get the opinions of the ones who do. The problem: I got too many opinions, leaving me confused, frustrated and not sure why on earth I was doing this.
Getting critiques from agents and authors is helpful, but I should've limited it to how many, along with waiting till I had my plot worked out. As soon as I would get feedback, I would change it in my MS. This really made my story, not mine. It wound up jumbled and confusing, basically a big mess. Now I'm re-writing and trying to find my voice, along with my characters voice (this is a post I will write soon.The whole voice issue.)
Where it did help was in my writing skills. Basically, giving me some sort of rules, leaving me to decide which ones I want to break. Now, I'm no where near query material, but I have learned a lot.
Getting critiques is good, don't get me wrong. I would recommend them to anyone. Actually, I highly recommend them. They strengthen your novel and your writing. Just make sure you don't overwhelm yourself and try to stay true to yourself and your story. My whole policy is-- if more than two people say to change something, then I may want to take a real hard look at it. If it's only one then definitely my choice. I did do a post way back on critiques that listed some sites I used (some are still around and some are not.) Check it out here.
Any critique advice?
Happy stories or horror stories?
Have a great day!