Monday, June 6, 2016
The Newbie Corner - Those Who THINK They Know
As a newbie, I often showed my work to anyone and everyone. The results were not pretty, but I learned some lessons on both receiving and giving criticism.
1. The Frankenstein Critique/Edit - This person lives to rip your manuscript or non-fiction work to shreds. There's no encouragement, constructive criticism, or kindness. Yes, writers must develop a thick skin, and it's never easy to hear your manuscript needs a lot of work. Still, there are some people who take their critiquing to a point of brutality. It's best to seek out those who are tough, but fair.
2. The Pseudo Expert - This person is a fellow newbie disguised as an expert. It's one thing to share the knowledge they've gleaned with a fellow writer. It's another thing to view what they say as gospel truth.
3. The Professional Who Thinks They've Nailed Your Story - They just don't "get it," but make pronouncements on your plot and characters that have no resemblance to what you wrote.
I've had people go on and on about my story, and I've walked away marveling at the assumptions they made. They were so far off the mark that I tossed whatever they said in the trash. From that point on, I avoided showing my work to them.
Writers: Have you come across people who THINK they know where you're going with a story, but are clueless? Please share.
Readers: Have you looked at a cover and jumped to a conclusion about the nature of a story? Do you read the back cover blurb and/or a few pages of the book, so you have a better idea of what the story is about? Please share.