Handle with care: The Daily Prompt

How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty?

I take the criticism as gracefully as I can when first given. I take good notes, and then go home and argue it out with myself. I do not want kid gloves. Where is the learning in that? Brutal honesty is neither necessary or required. Why is plain honesty not enough? I have been workshopping my novel with two fine writers who tell me what they think. They give me the unvarnished truth but in a positive and encouraging way. I engage them in dialogue to make sure I understand the scope of their comments. It worked very well the first workshop, but fell a bit in the second.

They made a rather radical suggestion, that I expand the first two parts of my novel to novel length. There was, they said, plenty of room for me to make the second part three times as long. I wondered, a little to them, a lot to myself, whether this was necessary. Having worked my way through the first two parts, which started at around 50,000 words, the first time, I had added only about 5,000 words. I have now added almost another 5,000. According to them, I still have another 40,000 to go. I have my doubts, but it is a noble experiment, and I have until October 7 to work on the conundrum they have laid at my door.

I may not have taken their criticism as gracefully as I could have. But they are good writers, both, and they like the underlying story. And they just want more. That is not necessarily a bad thing!

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4 thoughts on “Handle with care: The Daily Prompt

  1. Hobbie DeHoy

    I think criticism given in the spirit of improvement, and not in the spirit of tearing someone down, is invaluable. You are so fortunate to have not one, but two, intelligent and loyal readers who want to see you improve!

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    Reply

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