Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thick Skinned Writer Needed--I Mean REALLY Thick-skinned

Actually in this business it's not "thick skin" you need. I think you'd have to have armadillo skin. However, they're prone to getting squished by semis (which is how I felt last night). So . . . maybe something on the level of Superman? Sure. You can stop a bullet cold. But would Clark Kent be able to take criticism of his writing?

I've never been under the impression that I write very well. I mean, hey, agents have rejected me on the first sentence, I'm sure.

I write because I can't help myself. I think all of us who write can admit that they need to put their stories down on paper or whatever. Getting feed back is fine too. Usually we go to someone (hopefully) won't run us into the ground too much, won't wound us with their barbs. They make suggestions in a nice way, and you go back and take these suggestions into consideration.

What I did was I actually put my hand in the flame, into the lions mouth, I tried to stop a bullet.

I went to Evil Editor with the first 200 words of the next novel.

If you are faint of heart, I do not recommend this. I found it excruciating. And the follow up comments, some of them were less than nice, or cordial. Others were helpful, but merely a reiterating about what was already covered.

When I went to check this last night, before bed--to see if it had been posted--it was probably not a good idea for me to do that. But I'm okay. Really. I just didn't like what was written right below what I'd sent him in blue.I mean is Evil Editor actually a frustrated writer? I couldn't understand what it was or why it had been tagged onto what I'd sent in.

After I'd thought about it a while, I could see that he put this up there for his cronies to laugh at. Ha ha ha. My mistakes were made into a joke. Wow. Lame. Another person might have been in tears at viewing this, but I refused to allow that. It would only make me feel as though I were a victim. I placed my work there to have some critique, tell me what I did wrong. Apparently everything was wrong, right down to the fact the character noticed the constellations at some point, and she knew they had changed in the sky from the time she was out to when she woke up.

Fortunately this was a second draft. I didn't expect anyone to cuff me on the back and offer me a gold star. Help is all I wanted. I didn't need the barbs and I sure as heck didn't like someone calling me "Sparky". The name's Lorelei.

I don't know if a lot of people who send their writing (also synopses) to be critiqued here. I found this site in Writer's Digest Best Websites and thought that maybe I'd try it. Well, never again. In the description it says "A straight-talking--and humorous--editor dispenses tough-love advice . . ." I felt no love, I felt only just a nameless, faceless editor who was able to tell me what was wrong--which was fine. Getting a dozen more people in on the act was counter productive. It was like being stoned by strangers for something I didn't do.

My advice. Stay away from Evil Editor, stick with critique buddies, or places where you can swap critiques so that you don't get dragged over the coals.

If you want to see this post go to Read "New Beginning 768". Read the various comments, too. Some merely validated what EE said, that's about it. (I couldn't' believe some of them were stuck on the star-thing.)

That's my post for Wednesday.

I'm going to do some rewrites.


  1. Other than when I have worked with editors on my books I have never asked for anyone to critique any of my work. Sometimes you just need to do what feels right to you. I think all too much critiquing will do is knock your confidence. Remember, not everyone will like your style. I ended a book contract because the editor was trying to change my writing style too much and the end result was that it just didn't read like my writing. Maybe I was foolish, but I don't regret it. Stick with what's in your heart and just write. The best way you can learn to write is by reading. Study other people's work. Get critiques if you really want them, but if someone is bringing you down, cut them off immediatly.

  2. No editor, or agent ever got my style. I'm waiting one more week if the editor at CMP doesn't ask for this mss. I'm going to go another way. I'll have to do what makes me happy.

    Thank's Marissa.

  3. I just clicked over and read that. I sense a New York type of attitude from the commentors. Meaning, they don’t have time to waste on niceties so they get right to what doesn't work for them and they don’t pretty it up. I'd have to agree with you on sticking with a critique group.

  4. Yep. I agree. Thanks for your continued support, Heather.

  5. You're so welcome! I'm sorry you had to endure that.

  6. It was just me trying to see where I needed to do some work. Problem is it just felt like they all ganged up on me. I just can't believe some of them dwelled on the constillation thing. Like this was some problem. They need to get out of the city, I think.


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