Thursday, May 17, 2012

Find a Good Editor & Ditch the Critiques

This post has taken a few days to finish due to a conflict in the way criticism is viewed and voiced online as almost a rite of passage, when writers often need an objective assessment more. Criticism is only for the ironclad, for the most part. (This relates to the competitive edge that cuts some writers, while it holds others aloft.) So, before you venture out with your writing into the world of critiques, consider carefully the source and any ulterior motives.

Unfortunately,  slash and dash commentaries eviscerate anything and everything deemed "different" or "not like me"  Critics put the personal and subjective out front and with pride. This isn't to say that a critical assessment isn't needed at times, just that it requires an editor more than someone with a greater opinion of her or his own talents than those of the writer.

I would rather have a good editor than a critic at any point along the journey. An objective eye for the repetitive nature of starting every paragraph with a "the" or changing the first or last name of a main character in the fifth chapter is worth far more than a person stating that a work is "mundane or pedantic." One person sets out to help, the other to destroy.

As a writer who appreciates honesty when it is given in small doses and privately, I'm also aware that all writers must face critics to be published. But it goes so much better if a good edit is performed first.

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