Ooh, harsh!

I got a big envelope in the mail yesterday.  Before you jump to conclusions, it wasn’t anything official or important.

It was the first act of the first draft of BABY LIKES JAZZ, which I finished some time in August.  I think.  Anyway, I sent that out to the writing group back then, expecting comments and feedback.

The woman who organizes the group finally got around to her comments.

And boy did she.

Basically, she tore it apart.  There really didn’t seem to be anything about it she liked.

Keep in mind this was a first draft.  I know and accept that it would need a lot of work.  I don’t have a problem with the criticism, but it seemed like she was annoyed it wasn’t better.

What really threw me was the comments sheet, which I’m guessing is comparable to what a professional reader would fill out.  I was intrigued more by how she put it together rather than what it actually said.

The fact that I had basically abandoned BABY LIKES JAZZ probably helped.  But it does make me wonder/concerned how she’ll react to LUCY STEELE.

But I’m not going to worry about it.  As much as I wish I could write comedy, action-adventure is more my style.

The whole experience reminded me of the first time I got a script back from a peer.  It was covered in her infamous red pen.  This was about ten years ago, so I wasn’t used to criticism and thought I was a better writer than I actually was.

I wasn’t.  All that red made my confidence crumble.  That really was the start of me being able to pick and choose from comments and feedback, no matter how harsh or nice they were.

Granted, I don’t know the complete background of this woman.  Maybe she just takes this way too seriously.  And that’s not right.

One thought on “Ooh, harsh!

  1. We’ve all been there. Some readers indeed don’t get it–and, I think, are frustrated with their own work so they rip into others. I was part of a writing group once, but didn’t stay long as some of the old biddies in the outfit really hammered me for making up a city in the novel I had written. “You can’t make up a city! That’s not realistic!” I didn’t go back. And for what it’s worth, having to read *their* work and appropriately comment was like pulling out a tooth with a pair of pliers. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

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