Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dude, I totally thrashed it.


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!

15 comments:

  1. That's a good point. Critiques are amazing, and necessary but at the right point in your project.

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  2. oh man, I did exactly the same thing as you! It turned my work into an absolute mess. LOL. I've learned my lesson now :o)

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  3. i'm pretty good about ignoring crits i don't agree with, so i don't know if i've ever thrashed, but i do totally agree with you regarding crits. I would also add, get crits from people you trust. That is a problem i occasionally have, which can lead to anger, disappointment and frustration. Now i only reach out to people in the blogging community

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  4. What a great post. We do have to be careful not to receive too much feedback. I think it's even more dangerous to get too much feedback from agents in the final stages because it is so subjective. And it's easy to take one agent's comments or rejections as final.

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  5. Yeah, I agree with you. You need to get critiques but not until you are totally ready for them

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  6. Yep, good clue if two critters say you need to change something, BUT also consider the experience or knowledge of each critter. Some people you can give more weight to their advice because they've already been around the block once or twice!

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  7. one of my crit partners sent me an article about thrashing earlier this week. it was great.

    i'm thrashing right now. UGH!

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  8. Great point. I recently received some comments on my query, and they were so different from one person to the other! The bottom line was: I need to work some more on it, and in the end it's my story and I have to stay true to it--both how I write it, and how I represent it.

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  9. Not sure what happened, but I just tried to leave a comment and it said I couldn't and to hit my back button, so here I am leaving a comment again. Hope you only receive it once.

    I just wanted to tell you I understand what you're saying. I have learned to rough out my story first before reading it to my writers group. That way, if something doesn't work, I know what I need to have happen, and I can tell them where the story needs to go. They brainstorm with me until things are right again. I love my group! They've saved my bacon many times.

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  10. I totally agree, don't feel like you have to take every bit of advice you get. I don't let anyone look at my work until I've got it the best I can (at that point). Otherwise I'll just waste their time having them tell me stuff I could have figured out on my own.

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  11. I'm a bit of a critique junkie, but it can get overwhelming if I get too many, especially when they contradict each other. And it can be so hard to know what's good advice and what isn't. All just part of the learning process, I guess. Good luck on your revisions! :)

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  12. I'm with you, if I get two or people saying a section of the story doesn't work for them, then I fix it. If only one, then I tend to let it go. If I get conflicting responses, then the tie breaker is mine. I have to get feedback. My beta readers are golden.

    Nice to meet you fellow crusader.

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  13. I couldn't agree more. I've done the same thing and I'm still feeling the pain. I *think* the next time I revise this particular story I *will* finally be able to free it from all the advice that buried my story in other people's ideas and opinions.

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  14. Hey there fellow crusader, I've gotten to the point that I am very selective about who gets to look at my stuff, which I think helps. Only people whose judgment I trust. Otherwise, it's a waste of time.

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  15. Dropping by to say "hey" to a fellow crusader. I used to enter contests for feedback, but trying to accommodate everyone's opinion caused me to lose my "voice". I've stopped entering contests for now. I do belong to two critique groups now, and though I always consider their thoughts, I don't change anything unless it feels right to me.

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