Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What to Expect When You're Expecting... A Crit: Pt 3

So, how's the house buying going? you ask.

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 fa├žade. 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.


Lola Sharp said...

Sorry about the house...but I love how you connected it back to writing. (doesn't everything :)

I love, nay, DEMAND, uber honest critiques. (and they're the only kind I give) I'm lucky because I have excellent, brilliant, thorough CPs.

Good luck on your house hunt. The right one will find you. :)


Elena Solodow said...

Sorry you had to pass on the house - sounds like it was the right decision!

I think it's always hard to know you have more WORK to do on a manuscript, but writing is really just an endless process anyway. Even though crits can be hard to bear sometimes, it's always nice to realize that someone put the time in and they're actually helping you see things you'd never notice otherwise.

Abby Annis said...

I love critiques, but some are harder to accept than others. Those are usually the ones that are the most honest and eventually the most helpful. For me, anyway.

Sorry about the house, but you'll find something better and be glad you didn't settle for that one. Hang in there! :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love getting brutally honest critiques. I've just completely rewritten my first act (um, which apparently I didn't have before) because of great feeback. Sure it wasn't easy. But after banging my head against the wall, and brainstorming with my CP, the book is better than before.

Now I just have to rewrite the rest of the book to work with the new beginning.

Good think I LOVE revising. :D

Good luck with your revisions (hopefully yours are quite as extensive) . . . and finding a new house.

Tere Kirkland said...

Thanks, y'all! I feel like passing on this house was the right decision for us at this time. We didn't LOVE it--not sure if we'll find anything we LOVE as a starter home--so it really wasn't worth the trouble. Looking at another place right now, but it's more expensive. Hopefully they'll settle for less!

And yes, even though my revisions are pretty extensive, they're only serving to improve my manuscript, or so I keep reminding myself. ;)

Krispy said...

Sorry about the house! Like people have said though, sounds like you made the right decision. Maybe this other one will pan out? :)