So over to Laura...
GETTING AND SURVIVING CRITIQUES
Criticism is scary, but it’s part of an author’s life. In order to receive good feedback from a review it’s important to choose a critic who is familiar with the genre in which you write. Separate your personal emotions from your professional role as a writer. It’s not you personally, they’re criticising, it’s your professional work. Keep that at the back of your mind and the reviewer’s negative comments will have less sting.Before you hand your manuscript to a reviewer, communicate what you’re expecting from the critique. Highlight areas you feel aren’t working and why you think they’re not working. This helps the reviewer to focus on those areas for you and it saves time for your critic and for you.
When you get a critique back from a reviewer, put your ego in your back pocket and sit on it. Receiving a review on your work can be harmful to the ego, but can be avoided if you look at it from the point of view that it’s going to make your writing better and increase the chances of getting an editor’s attention.Remember always that there’s no such thing as perfect writing. Writing is an evolving process that grows organically into a living breathing piece of work that will excite and move your reader in a new and life changing way. None of us is perfect. What is perfect anyway?
When the critique comes back, skim over it quickly and try not to focus on the negative comments too much at this stage. Be aware of the positive feedback as you read and hang on to that. This is where your writing has worked. As you revise the work, you can add more of what’s working into the weaker writing.
After the first quick read-through, take time out to let the emotion that the skim read has evoked mix with your subconscious thoughts. I allow a couple of days for this part of the process. When you’re ready, come back and read the critique again. Then read the manuscript slowly so that you tap into your emotions as you read. Be aware of your physical reactions as well. If there’s a comment that gets your back up stronger than any other, highlight it. This section definitely needs looking at in more detail.
If you’re still not sure about the critique go back to my first statement. Getting a critique is scary, but looking at your work objectively will make it stronger, and much more publishable. A good critic helps you to understand yourself as a writer and where you fit in the publishing world. Watch for your ego, it likes to be out there, pull it back, be humble and continue to work toward your writing goals.
About Laura O'Connell:
Laura enjoys writing stories about second chances in love and life. She calls the Gold Coast home, however, her curious nature leads her on adventures to locations that surprise and delight her. Laura has a passion for telling a good story set in places where she has lived and travelled. Her first book, African Hearts, was shortlisted in the 2011 Caleb Prize.
Laura around the web:Website
Book Blurb - Web of Lies:
High school sweethearts, Stephanie and Lachlan are torn apart by circumstance, bad decisions and a web of lies, leaving an unknown future for their son, Ryan.Eight years later they reconnect, but the time apart has changed them. The family had made decisions based on lies and deceit and now must find a way to either reveal the truth or find another option. On the surface, their arrangements seemed flawless, but dig deeper, and the people they thought they knew aren’t as they appear.
Lachlan and Stephanie are forced to confront the consequences of their actions and the entire family is compelled to reveal the truth, find forgiveness, and renew loving one another. But the hardest decision is still to come … where does Ryan live?