Critiques – Pros and Cons

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve received a lot of critiques on my first and second chapters.  I’ve been using critiquecircle.com and the community has been great.  By doing critiques for others you help people out and help yourself out by seeing various approaches you do or don’t want to take in your story.  You are forced to see errors that you yourself make and thus are more diligent towards avoiding them.  Also you get your chapters or short stories critiqued and get valuable insight.

On the other hand though you must be careful to hold true to your “inner voice” and make sure that you don’t change the story up to much.  Critiques can be very helpful but you must always keep to your style of writing.  Just because you aren’t getting overwhelming positive feedback doesn’t mean your story is awful or that you need to change it up a ton.  Remember your goal of writing.  If it is to make tons of money then you are in for a long hard road but adjust accordingly.  If you are in it to make a great story then listen to critiques but be sure to hold true to yourself and your story.

Critiques – Pros and Cons:

Pros:

Lots of great feedback to fine tune and even take different approaches to the methodology of your writing

Giving and receiving has their benefits, they both make you a better writer

Get a look into how the audience likes your story.  If you don’t have all positive reviews then that’s normal (I don’t even think you should have ALL positive reviews).  If they’re all negative though maybe you should look at what you’re doing.

You also see things that you would never see reading your story over a hundred times.  From the grammatical to the detailed.

See how the reader is taking your story.  You may have a detailed world and plot in your mind that you think is coming through in the story but is it really?  Critiques will let you see if it does come through in a non confusing sort of way.

Cons:

You can take negative feedback to harshly and get down about your work

You can approach critiques in a poor manner.  You shouldn’t give up, you shouldn’t completely change your stories, and you shouldn’t lose your “voice.”  I’m sure there are people who hate Tolkien and Martin but we all know of their successes.

You can spend to much time on critiques.  So much so that you may take to long to continue on with your writing or become obsessed with the little details.  Be sure to get your chapter critiqued a couple of times but then move on.  Don’t nitpick.

Online workshops take weeks and weeks of time to get your story critiqued or you can spend large amounts of money in getting your story critiqued.  Either way the costs of money or time are large.

To summarize everything though, critiquing your stories is a must.  I don’t know of any authors who don’t go through the critiquing process.  It’s extremely valuable and helps you with your thought processes, editing, reviewing, clarifying, etc.  Don’t spend to much time on each chapter, don’t lose your voice, don’t take negative critiques to heart, but do take the critiques, do use them to your advantage, and do take the time to do your writings justice.

Thanks!

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~ by robertsinferno on August 26, 2009.

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