Critiquing do’s and don’ts

As I sit here tonight, mulling over the first chapter of the memoir piece I am working on, I wonder how exactly I have managed to rework it eight or so times, only to decide to go back to the original piece.  I realized that somewhere in all the revisions I lost my voice.

I forgot a few very vital things about receiving critiques.

Frustrated for all the time lost, I set it aside for a moment, and checked out Twitter.  I followed a link on somebody’s tweet, and I wind up face to face with Sylvia Dickey Smith’s blog.  Her latest post, Guidelines for a Writer’s Critique Group outlines all the things I should have kept in mind all along.
So now I pass it on to you, hoping that you read it well before your eighth revision.


2 comments on “Critiquing do’s and don’ts

  1. Michelle, thanks for the retweet! I understand how you feel about losing your voice in your WIP. One of the most important things I learned is what advice to take from a critique and what advice to let go. A difficult task, but one I’m getting better at. Then of course there is the advice I don’t take–that latter, when a editor suggests the same thing, I think–why didn’t I listen. But one really important issue in the whole thing is critiquing out your voice. Probably one good reason to not submit chapters until after we’ve finished the first draft and begun our rewrites. It is indeed a balancing act. But it has helped me learn to trust myself more–which is what it’s all about, anyway. Sounds like the topic of critique groups can well continue on a couple more posts. Syl

    • I think you’re right Sylvia, it is a difficult thing to know what to hold on to and what to let go of. I think it would be very beneficial to have more insight on the topic. I copied and printed off the cartoon you used as a reminder of the lessons learned. Thank you for your insights!

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