Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Licking my wounds...

I'm going to step onto my soapbox to say a few things and then creep back to my "dragon-lady dungeon" to lick my wounds. I shared a chapter with my writers' group last night. It did not go well. About fifty percent of the criticism was well deserved, in fact I'd caught some of the inconsistencies and murky writing as it was being read (and spelling desert sage as dessert sage was purely a Freudian slip, having been on a diet for 8 months). Still, having someone go page by page to point out what that person percieved as poorly chosen words, both in narration and dialogue, chaffed. And having someone ridicule phrases I'd labored over both shocked and surprised me. I that bad???

So, for those of you who are in critique groups, remember that writers are human beings with egos and feelings. Point out errors, please. For sure, suggest areas where rewriting would strengthen the piece. Feel free to show the writer where the story needs tightened. Do all of these things, but do them in a kind and respectful manner.  While it may be said that one shouldn't take things so personally. My reply would be to "have a care how you wound another person." Our writings are an extension of us, after all.

Most writers are open to suggestions. They help us grow. They help us look at our writings in a different light. But when one is attacked with a barage of "I have a problem with this word...or this phrase...or this section of dialogue, a barage that lasts for several minutes, going page by page, well, one tends to go into turtle mode, retreating into his or her shell.

Have a care, folks. Tread lightly as you step on someone's toes. Be kind in all things--even in your dose of criticism.   

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