the contest entries are back in hand, or you’ve received your crit partners response to your newest chapter.
What you have before you is your precious manuscript covered in red remarks.
What happens now?
Well, besides the usual initial response of throwing the paper across the room, blurting out something unkind, screaming into a pillow, or devouring large quantities of chocolate- after the storm has subsided there are a few things to consider.
The first thing I do (after the initial shock has worn off) is PRAY.
I believe that God has called me into the world of writing fiction, therefore these words/stories are important to him. If I’m receiving valuable feedback for those stories, I want Him to guide the critiquers comments and my reaction.
Next – I reread the comments and sort them into categories:
- comments made by one judge (or only made once) versus comments made by more than one judge (or repeated several times by the critiquer)
- Categorize comments: grammatical, plot, characterization, dialogue, other
Usually at this point I need to pray again. Prayer for my reaction, for how I interpret those comments, AND for the story God wants me to write in view of those comments. Sometimes it’s okay to step outside the box, but other times we need to be aware that people with more experience are trying to help us along the writing journey.
Then I will start taking some of those comments and modify my work.
What do you do with those critiques?