Ever taken a punch to the face? I have.*
Reading comments from my critique partners (CPs) on my latest manuscript can be like going a couple of rounds in the sparring ring. I’m a bit bruised. And I need a nap. And maybe some dark chocolate.
Well, I did ask them to be honest.
Taking criticism isn’t easy. Even when you ask for it. But that’s okay. I must deal with it if I want to create a good book. My trusted cadre of writing friends wants the same on my behalf.
The difference between a helpful critique and a TKO is intent. 😉
I’m lucky my CPs are honest with me. Their insights are gold. I’ll take their punches and ask for more.
They can see the issues that I can’t, the things I’ve failed to address because they’re clear in my head if not on the page, the threads I dropped three chapters back because I was so focused on writing a kick-ass finale.
But my friends don’t leave me bleeding on the mat. They brainstorm solutions and tell me what they like, what’s working, and what made them laugh or cry (in a good way).
A CP/editor/beta reader is sort of like a trainer. They break you down to build you up. They reveal your weaknesses and force you to grow stronger. In the end, they help you become the best you can be.
The pain is worth the result. I’d rather get beat up by my friends now than in the ratings and sales after I publish the book.
*While sparring in Tae Kwon Do and Kung Fu, just so you won’t worry. 😉