A to Z Challenge: C is for Critique
The A to Z challenge is a challenge in which bloggers post every day during the entire month, and each day has a post starting with a different letter of the alphabet. The first day, the post features “A”, the second day “B”, and so on. It’s much better explained on the Blogging from A to Z website, so I’ll just refer you there.
Today I’m writing about critique. As an author, it’s important to know how to take criticism. Criticism comes in two forms: pre-publication, from your critique partners, beta-readers, yourself (if you’re like me, you’re highly critical of your own work). When you get your manuscript, which you slaved over for hours and then edited several times after writing your first draft, back from your critique partner and you see so much red your eyes start to bleed, you want to cry. But critique is helpful, and having a fresh set of eyes look at your work can bring it to the next level.
So, like a good, little author, you sit down and start to work. An epic amount of blood, sweat and tears later, you send your book to betareaders. When you get a mail back from them, you hope you’ll see less red. After being edited so much, it can’t possible be still bad, right?
Prepare for another round of red comments, and then when you’re done with that, and the amazing day comes that your book gets accepted by a publisher, you’re still only half way. A publisher means a developmental edit, a copy-edit, and then a round of proofreading. Red, red, red. Comments and critique galore.
After all that, it can’t possibly still be bad, right?
Truth is, your book may be spectacular, and your grammar may be great, but still, people will critique your work. If someone reviews your book, you can’t expect each review will be stellar and each reader will turn into a fan. Heck, apparently some people don’t like Harry Potter, so why should everyone like your book?
But still. Reading bad reviews about your book? It hurts. Not just because you can’t take criticism, although we humans seem to have a rather general problem about criticism, but also because you slaved for hours to make this book the best it can be. You poured your heart and soul into it. When someone doesn’t like it, it hurts you. Bad.
But we’re authors, and we have to learn how to deal with criticism. So rather than comment on the review (which is seen as bad form, and can get you into trouble), vent to your friends, have a cup of coffee, and work on the next book.