Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Reading through the critiques from my writers' group. Critiques are hard to accept sometimes. Sometimes? Hah! Many times.

When I write, I know what's going on - I can see it in my mind's eye. Everything. I try to convey all that in the writing. Most of the times, it works. Sometimes, it doesn't.

Since my stuff has a lot of medieval 'stuff' in it, I've got to do quite a bit of research. I try, since this is going to be young YA book, to keep the references pretty easy. But I also don't want to 'dumb down' the stuff. If a kid picks up a medieveal-type book, they've got an idea already of the concepts of archery, swordplay, and such. A wee bit of knowledge of dragons is part of a kid's life, IMHO. Of course, every writer / reader has a different idea of what a dragon is like. (reminds me of the vampires in the Twilight saga).

It's the 'That character is too harsh." or, "I wouldn't have written it like that."

Those are the things that I have to tell myself: That's their opinion, their tastes. Take it, chew on it, and use it or spit it out. Most times *giggle* I spit it out. I know what the characters are like. They talk to me. But I'd be a fool to not at least listen. What's the sense of being critiqued if you don't listen?

Of course, you've got to make sure you're in a group who really wants you to succeed.

Life is - of course - incredible.


  1. I appreciate constructive criticism, such as "I'm not sure I understand what you wrote here," or "Did you really mean it this way?" I really don't tolerate well the "I would have written it this way..." Fine. You write your own book. However, that being said, one of my editors will rewrite what I've written to help me see what she understood. It's really helpful because then I'll realize that it wasn't what I meant and re-write.

  2. That seems like a perfect way to do things!

    If the reader doesn't understand, then I've obviously not written the portion well enough. And I will change it.

  3. "I wouldn't have written it like that" is probably one of the lamest critiques there is, but unfortunately, it still has power to doubt our abilities!

    It's very important not to dumb down a book for a particular audience. If the tale is interesting enough, they are going to eat up all the technical stuff, and hopefully learn something they didn't know -- and want to go out and do their own research to find out more!

    The best kind of YA book is one that is intelligent enough that an adult can read it and love it as much as a young person. Sounds like that's what you are writing, too; I'll have to check it out for sure! :-D