I have been a naughty girl. I realized I have been a bad critiquee. Yes, I always say please and thank you. No, I wasn't picking feedback fights. I just wasn't listening. (And this after my recent post on the value of critique groups.)
It wasn't on purpose. I swear. Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye. (geesh, that's morbid. Why do kids say that?)
Here's what happened. I was diligently accepting the line edits and other simple suggestions, but I was totally missing the real critique. "Make more room for the illustrator." "Focus on creating scenes." "Dialogue will help you avoid telling." It was there all along...
The ridiculous thing is I feared someone was taking the line edits from my critiques and thinking it was ready to go. Was my subconscious banging its head on a wall trying to alert me?
Since my naiveté is tired of being picked on, I blame my process. Even though a manuscript may have been sitting for awhile, I always give it a fresh edit before a critique. I'm still too close to the story when the critique comes. When I read older critiques now, the real feedback is obvious.
by Andreas Blum via sxc.hu
New process starting today: I will read critiques and make line edit adjustments immediately. Then the manuscript and critiques go into deep freeze for a month. No matter how much the story cries, I will not open the door and send it to a publisher.
At the end of the month, I will read the story and crits again. I will say "Oh horsefeathers!" or something worse when I realize how much opportunity there it is. Then the editing really starts.
Do you have a process for reviewing critiques? Where do you start? Any recommended resources?
P.S. Do not for any reason ever google images for "stick a needle in my eye." However, I do recommend "silly horse."