Friday, May 4, 2012

Five Stages in Reacting to a Critique

I got some tough advice from my critique buddies this week. One of the chapters of my work-in-progress just wasn't working for them. I went through the usual stages:

1) Numbness and shock - "Really? I can't believe that chapter was so bad."

2) Denial - "But I need these scenes to set up the conclusion. They just don't get it!"

3) Depression - "Sometimes it seems like I'm never going to get it right."

4) Working through it - "What if...? Maybe... I could try..."

5) Acceptance - "They were right. The old chapter didn't move the story forward."

Even though at first it stung a little, after giving their critiques time to settle, I realized they were right.  [It's always a big tip off when more than one person says essentially the same thing.] After some brainstorming, I ended up with a new and much improved chapter. And lots of enthusiasm to continue working on the rest of the novel.

Yay for critique partners!







7 comments:

  1. I have one more stage. It's the freaked out feeling I have before I even open the feedback. I don't rush to open it. Sometimes it can take me a over a day to build up the courage to look at it. My CP thinks I have amazing will power. Ha! It's because I'm a chicken. :)

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    1. I've had that feeling. Usually it's when I already know there's something wrong with what I've written but don't want to admit it.

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  2. You forgot the "Eat all the chocolate in the house" stage! Oh, wait. That's pretty much something to go along with stages 1-4. :-)

    Thankfully, I usually cycle through the stages fairly quickly. Sometimes I need to lick my wounds for a few days, though. It happens.

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    1. Ha - chocolate go along well with any stage in the writing process!

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  3. Sometimes the criticism from our crit partners stings, but its always in favor of our stories. I too have gone through that cycle and finally done the changes keeping my story in mind.

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  4. Great post. I've linked it to this week's The Funnily Enough

    cheers,
    mood

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  5. This was good! The feelings your list encompassed were ones I have definitely experienced! But you are right, those critiquers are awesome and only make our stories better.

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