Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tip O'Day for Authors #184

Guest blogger Corinne Shaw on seeking criticism.
Love your story, but be willing to accept that it may need work. A brutally honest critique partner is fundamental. You don't want a friend reviewing your work, but rather a person who has no reason to lie to you.
Dixon says: I agree with Corinne except for the word brutally. I believe you can be frank and direct without being brutal, and I suspect Corinne does as well. We mean well when we say, “I want you to be brutally honest” but it’s a short road to “this is the worst garbage I’ve ever read.” I’ve tried brutal honesty. It ended up costing me a good friend.
Let me suggest instead specific honesty. My critique group has vigorous discussions with no sugarcoating, where you’re likely to hear comments like, “That dialogue doesn’t work for me because of ABC, and I’d suggest you try instead XYZ.”

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