Constructive Criticism

Well hello there!

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to download the WordPress app on my phone. I have no excuse for waiting so long to post other than a busy life and laziness.

Slap my wrist!

I’ve decided it’s time to fill you in on my writing and where I’m at in my querying, and so on…

I’ve been querying for almost two years now, off and on, and let me tell you, it’s not an easy process! Most of the time I get no response, other times I’m granted a brief “not for me,” or, I’m gifted with an encouraging rejection, complimenting my writing, character and world-building, but it’s also “not right for their list at this time.”

I admit when I get rejections my stomach sinks a bit, but I’ve become used to it, as does every other writer, I’m sure.

It’s like, you’ve devoted so much time, and sacrificed moments with family and/or friends to research and fill paper and documents with bits and pieces of yourself–your soul I’d even say. And after years of fine-tuning and many eyes going over it with critiques and beta readers, you’re still told it’s not good enough. At least that’s how you feel, that you’re not good enough, your writing isn’t good enough…

It’s beyond false, by the way. We are more than good enough! It’s not our fault this industry is so subjective. We have to hope, pray, send out good energy, or what have you, that at least One agent will be enthusiastic about our work. Because that is what it takes. No agent will sign you unless they’re 100% sold on your world and story.

Dang, that’s hard! To hope everything you’ve written will stick with someone like that.

But it’s more than possible!

I’ve been lucky enough to work with a wonderful author coach who has helped me a lot. As well as become involved with the lovely writing community on Twitter, blown away with the amount of support I’ve found on there (Faith in humanity rebuilt! I love this community like family)! Through this community, I’ve found a close friend whom I call my Twitter bestie, and various others who have given me feedback on my novel.

Speaking of feedback; when I ask for feedback, I want brutal honesty, not sweet remarks that overlook things that need to be worked on. Which is what I strive to do with anyone asking for my feedback. You’re not helping if you don’t. I mean don’t be a jerk, but if you’re not honest when you find a sentence that makes no sense, a monotonous paragraph or an unnecessary character, you’re doing a disservice. You’re not being honest. You’re not being a friend. You’re just trying to avoid hurting their feelings. Yes, they will most likely get a small pang of “ouch,” but, they will be grateful when their novel is pristine after your comments are combined with other’s honest feedback. It helps. Just don’t be rude or blatantly insult them! That is unnecessary.

Writing never gets easier, you just become more practiced.

I’ve learned this as I’ve been editing for as long as I’ve been writing my series, The Conduit.

I’ve written, cut, rewrote and repeated over and over. My last critique was my absolute favorite. From someone who went in-depth with my work. Someone who wasn’t afraid to tell me what he thought. What should be removed or what is just silly. I am beyond grateful. There comes a time to put down your work and have someone’s eyes that are not yours look at it. There was something not right. Something was missing. And he pointed it out! Now I know what to do, and it’s like everything has finally clicked with my book. That feeling of almost there is about to be over. I think >.<

*Important: even though you get feedback, it doesn’t mean you should change too much of your book. Unless it’s something that changes your work for the better, i.e flow or progressing a character arc, or another important aspect of your work, take a reader’s opinion as just that. An opinion. It’s your book after all.*

I’m in the process of doing a major edit while I take a break with querying.

Soon, I’ll be posting a new opening! So stay tuned for that and let me know what you think!

Much love!

-Angie (A.C.)

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