It’s difficult to accept criticism from others.
It can be even more complicated when no one has the same opinion.
One person might say your characters are unrelatable, while another says the fault lies with telling what we should show.
It’s enough to make you pull your hair out.
Sometimes others’ opinions allow you to see things from a new perspective.
But most of the time, they’re nothing more than personal tastes and pet peeves.
It’s often better to ignore the criticism than to stress over chasing an undefined problem.
One that might be something entirely different.
But when several people point out the same problem, that’s when we should take a closer look.
The first thing we need to recognize before dealing with criticism is that it’s your book.
Only you decide what goes in it and what doesn’t belong.
Look at every comment objectively and try to see your story from their point of view.
Trust your instincts and decide if there is a problem to address.
Not every recommended change may be right for your book.
Some may even alter it into something different from what you had imagined.
Use the feedback that feels right to you.
Focus on what works for your story, but watch for problems that might result from any changes you make.
If you can’t apply the feedback in a way that improves your story, don’t worry about it.
But no matter what, always clarify anything confusing or misunderstood.
A tweak here and there can make all the difference in holding your reader’s attention.
But above all, stay true to the story YOU want to tell.
FOR FURTHER READING
Renea strives to help writers develop the focus and skills they need to finish their first novel, offering writers practical writing advice they can apply one step at a time.
She is the author of Conquering Writing Pressures: Living a Balanced Writing Life in a Busy World where she helps writers find the courage to accept life will never be perfect. And if we want our dreams to succeed, we must fight to make them a reality.
She currently lives in St. Joseph, Missouri, with her husband Joe, her three children, and her five lovable furballs.
From a young age, Renea was mad for books and reading, and especially loved Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, which she read in the ninth grade.
She is an avid reader, with her main interests residing in history, mythology, and fantasy, along with some romance and science fiction in her earlier years.
When Renea’s not writing, she enjoys genealogy, role-playing games, and dreams of traveling the world. In a past life, she plucked chickens and milked cows.