As I mentioned in Workshopping Your Work-in-Progress, I checked my ego at the door and I am critically studying all critiques or “crits” and determine what works and what doesn’t.
So far the comments have been helpful. Some participants sandwich both the negative with the positive. One woman wrote that she’s not interested in the history but offered some good feedback on syntax and sentence structure. A few have said one character is not sympathetic, and one person was somewhat nasty.
I was tempted to write something snarky to that one mean person, but I’m trying to look at what everyone says with an objective eye. Granted, I was a teensy bit put off with: “You may well have a great story to tell, but based on your first thousand words, if I’m an agent? I’m yawning and reaching for my next partial.” Ouch!
This is exactly the kind comment that would have probably made me break out in tears and discontinue submitting and getting feedback. I did console myself with a Google search and I discovered that this know-it-all wrote a novel and, according to his website, he is currently looking for representation. I guess no bites as of yet.
Currently on the Internet Writing Workshop novels list there’s been a discussion about ignoring a critter’s advice. It’s difficult to say whether one thing works and another doesn’t. There is no formula for writing a great book so what gets dismissed and goes directly to the recycle bin? Certainly comments that don’t offer anything constructive or positive will most likely be discounted. Probably suggestions from those who want you to change your story to suit their reading preference and if that’s the case then those readers should write their own books.
For the time being, I’ll continue submitting, grow a thicker skin, and follow my new mantra: Finish novel. Find agent. Get published. When I know that Michiko Kakutani is slated to review my book that’s when I’ll worry.