As you may know, I turned in a story this week that just came up on Critters for critique.
And, it’s true. I friggin’ can’t take criticism.
I keep thinking this is going to get easier. That I will magically start not taking all the crits personally. I really am trying, but the first crit just came in, and it has gotten so under my skin I want to scream.
You know the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz? I try to live by those tenets every single day.
In case you don’t know them, here they are:
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Always do your best.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Be impeccable with your word.
Such words of wisdom. Wish I was wise. (sigh)
It’s not like I don’t get criticisms on my work all the time. I work on documents and maps that get torn apart, changed, altered, added to, re-written, and re-directed all the time. But somehow, I have, over the years, been able to remove my work from me. The defensive me that gets the hairs on the back of my neck raised whenever anyone says anything remotely stupid about what I produce.
That’s not the case with my writing. Maybe I just need to view my writing as I view my maps – something for the clients. But that’s awfully hard as I do not have any ‘clients’ for my writing. Right now, I really only write for myself.
It’s not that I don’t value the critiquers opinions. If someone pointed out you need a comma here, or this sentence is awkward – reword, or your plot sucks, then I can take it all in stride. But when they just don’t get the friggin’ point of the story, it makes me mad!
So…since it is rude to respond to my critiques in any other manner than to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ (which, I am, very thankful for, I mean, damn, they read my story, for better or worse), I will respond here (this will be ongoing for the remainder of the critter week, the 23rd of Dec):
…purple prose…this is an action story, keep it that way…
What the fuck? No really, what the fuck? Purple prose? I have never been accused of purple prose! An action story? Did you even read the story? It’s not an action story! It’s about death. It’s about a woman becoming Death! There’s no friggin’ action!
…make it a true partnership rather than exploitation. I think the story is good enough that it deserves a better ending.
That’s the whole point, dip-wad. Didn’t you read the story? How else was she to become Death? She didn’t want to go there, she was exploited her entire life, and then the final forcing into being the very agent of Death and corruption. The story is all about exploitation. It deserves a better ending? Do you mean you want a nice happy ending? There’s no happy endings in tmso-land, buddy. Get real.
Okay, I feel better now. I won’t add any more rant posts this week. I’ll just keep adding on to this one.
EDIT: Argh! Last night the light bulb turned on (at around 3am). The reviewer is absolutely right. My story sucks, and I see exactly why now. A couple of other reviewers also gave me some good insights, and I understand my story’s central flaw. Not sure if that will change the story much, but at least I understand now. Maybe, just maybe, I’m learning something.