Book Critics?

I finally succumbed to the pressure of showing my work to somebody. It was just the first 7000 words of my newest novel and it was well and truly in its first draft. All my fellow writers will know what that means and will probably be groaning that I showed it to somebody at such a rough stage.

And rightly so.

I am still forming the story; still forming the characters; still forming the theme. The scenes were a little jumbled up as they’ll, of course, be put in best order later. Some crap scenes and lines were still in there but would probably be completely re-written or culled completely later. Even the names of the characters, and some of the characters themselves are subject to change.

However, my lovely sister took a look at it for me. Probably simply because I wanted somebody to rave, ‘this is brilliant!’ if I’m completely honest. Unfortunately, she didn’t. She was matter of fact, gave me feedback about her likes and dislikes of it. In fact, it was quite an anti-climax which made me feel like she thought I was a crap writer but couldn’t admit it.

I know she’d feel terrible if she knew I’d taken what she said this way, but I guess here’s some advice for any budding book critics out there. If a friend or family member asks you to read their book, just gush about it. Let them know that you love it and that they’re a great writer, and then give some constructive criticism.

After all, they only gave it to you in the first place so you could tell them they’re the best writer you’ve ever had the privilege to read!

Encourage, encourage, encourage, then drop in a bit of advice. That quota of 3 to 1 should work pretty well!

Leave it to the publishers to tell us to bugger off!

Thanking you all in advance.

KBH

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2 thoughts on “Book Critics?

  1. Hi Kate and thank you for finding me, thus letting me find you. Can I just say, that my novel went through no less than twenty seven rewrites. Yes, twenty seven! And I shared it with a few friends, family members then professional editors and begged: ‘please, tell me the TRUTH.’ It is so, so tough to hear but your MS will LOVE you for it. Don’t take it to heart, remember the first draft is only rough and it is so close to you, you won’t see what is glaringly obvious to the reader with no interest invested. Trust me when I say, it is better to encourage people to tell you the truth. You’d rather hear it in private than in a series of (gasp) ‘out there’ amazon reviews. It is a really good exercise. Yes, it stings. But it makes you determined to get better and no one – and I mean No ONE – gets it right first time. read Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’. I think of my first draft as the undercoat when I’m painting my house. It doesn’t have to be perfect so don’t let the perfect bees sting you. And please don’t worry about the 27 rewrites thing, I’m not suggesting you will have to do that! I got twelve rejections from publishers and so rewrote on some of the common feedback themes and had to push push push. As you will too. It’s a very long journey, but well worth the ride 🙂 x

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