Their opinion (singular) vs their opinion (plural)

Anybody else have something to say?
Anybody else have something to say?

When you get feedback on your work, you have the luxury of being able to pick and choose which comments and suggestions you’re going to use, and disregarding the rest.

It’s only one person’s thoughts, right? Maybe there’s a worthwhile nugget or two in there.

But what if more than one person makes the same comment?  If those folks mentioned it, it might be likely more are going to as well.

Take a look at what they’re saying. Can you understand why they said it, and more importantly, what can you do to fix it?

Such was the case for a pivotal plot point in my western spec. At least three people asked “Why does this character do this?”

Each claimed it didn’t make sense and felt contrived, like it was happening because the story needed it to, rather than being set up organically.

If one person had said this, I would have thought “Maybe I’ll take a look at it.”  After the second and third piped in, it quickly changed to “How can I fix this?”

It took some work (mostly with the dialogue) to set things right, so not only does this character now feel more fleshed out, but their actions come across as more believable, there’s more conflict between them and the main character, and the flow of the story is smoother.

A writer’s ego is already a sensitive thing, but what’s more important? Thinking your work is perfect as is and doesn’t need any changes, or being willing to make those changes to make it better?

Maybe it’s a little fix or maybe it requires a major overhaul. No matter what, you’ve got some work to do.

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