Only the most courageous put their beloved work out into this medium for others to see.
Only the best of us accept what comes back.
So, how to use the
whomp upside the head priceless
It is like an exclusive elevator. You start at the bottom with a lot of other folks. The elevator starts up. Sometimes the ride stops and people step off. It stays on some levels for indeterminate periods.
Along the way, as the lights tick up on the elevator panel, the people experience the same reactions.
Levels of the Critique Elevator.
#1.Anger/Hurt Feelings. You’ve worked hard on this manuscript. It is wonderful, perfect, above superlative. Then someone doesn’t ‘get it’.
That elevator stops. Some can’t get past this stage and never move on. They leave. Others stay on, mumbling to themselves.
#2.Acceptance. After a day or two (or three or four, five or six), the critique makes seems. You edit and move to the next floor.
#3.Justification with explaining. Another stop. A crit seems befuddled with your MC’s behavior and, to enlighten them, you explain why she/he reacted as they did. Generally, no one gets off the elevator unless #1 is involved.
Take note of this fact: The reader is telling you something very, very important. They don’t ‘see’ what you are seeing. Do not take this for granted. It is like pointing to an object below the horizon. You know it is there but your friend can’t see it.
Do not underestimate this type of crit. And do not give in to the temptation of ‘explaining’.
#4.Confusion. A critter makes an impossible suggestion that conflicts with your storyline. Absorb this, file it away for later reference, and move on. It might prove helpful at a later stage.
At this point, some crits may not be useful but accept them anyway. The tools, like a screwdriver, might not be what you require but pick it up, look at it, and decide whether it fits your need. Heaven knows a screwdriver handle works as a hammer sometimes.
#5.Acceptance. This level is the hardest to find. At this point, there are few people left in your elevator. Some are muttering quietly in the corner. Others nod their heads. But all of you are self-absorbed to the point of exclusion.
#6.Light Bulb – Gru, Despicable Me. It hits like a Niagara Falls. You look around the elevator and become aware that everyone is in the same place, following the same journey, with the same goals. Every crit become a precious bit of information given by people with little time or incentive to give it. You realize how priceless this is. Leading to:
#7.Appreciation. How can a simple thank you be enough? This expression of gratitude is too little but it is all we have.
#8.Pay It Forward. Critiques freely given generate a return of the same.
#9.Top floor. Published.