Ugh, horrible, I reply. The place looks perfect on the surface, but underneath the house, the foundation is all cobbled together and crazy. The inspector said it was fixable, but it would take some work.
Oddly enough, that's kind of the way my manuscript feels to me right now. Like it looks great after a quick glance: good premise, good characters, but there's something missing that's not immediately identifiable. Nothing on the surface, but something deeper. I've made myself crazy trying to figure out what to do next, where to go. When I'm feeling this way, that's how I know it's time to send my work to a beta.
So now that your work is out getting critiqued, what should you expect when you get the crit back?
Well, first, no matter how open to criticism you may think you are, expect to feel a little stung when readers don't tell you "It's the next Twilight!" or "J.K. Rowling is going to be so jealous!" If this does happen, odds are you need to start looking for a new crit partner.
Expect it to take a few days for the criticism to sink in. To make sense in a way that doesn't make you cringe. For you to remember why you sent your work to them in the first place. To make it better! Also, remember any good crit buddy is working very hard to help you. Remember that they have your best interest at heart.
Maybe I'm some sort of masochist, but I like getting feedback on my work. I get so into my own little world sometimes that it's good to let someone else in, see what they're seeing.
So what about the house? you ask. Well, we decided not to go for it. Too many surprises covered up by a pretty façade. Unlike Evangeline, this house wasn't worth going the distance for. But it's been a great learning experience and we're ready to keep looking for the house that's right for us.
What about you all? Do you enjoy getting your work critiqued? I'd love to hear about it.
“All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” ~George Orwell
I'm a YA writer who delves into urban fantasy, paranormal and romance, and who loves reading good books almost as much as writing them.
When not writing—or working—I enjoy daydreaming, drinking tea, and walking in cemeteries. I used to spend the rest of my time checking my inbox for manuscript requests, but am now proudly represented by Rosemary Stimola, of Stimola Literary Studio.