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!