Fine, I’ll be professional, but do I still have to be mature?

by Diana

I’ve been slogging away on a short story for the past couple of weeks, and finally reached the point where I knew it was as good as I could make it and that it was time to pass it on to one of my critique partners. It should be noted that “As good as I could make it” does NOT equal “ready to send to an editor.” I knew that the story was far from perfect, but I’d reached the point where I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it… and I KNEW it had stuff wrong with it. So, I sent it to my critique partner, and a short while later she responded with the kind of critique that every writer loves and hates. The love part was that she absolutely nailed what was wrong with the story. The hate part was that she basically told me that I needed to start over.

Okay, so she didn’t come right out and say that I needed to start over. What she said was that she loved the plot and that the premise was great… but that I was telling it from the wrong point of view. And, no, I’m not talking about something as simple as “This should be in third person point of view instead of first person.” No, she was saying that I was telling the story from the wrong character’s point of view.

The seriously sucky part is that I know she’s absolutely right. Oh, sure, I could go ahead and leave it with the current narrator and get it cleaned up enough that the editor would probably go ahead and publish it, but I’d always know that the story wasn’t anywhere near as good as I knew it could be. I’d always be a little ashamed of it.

So, I emailed my critique partner and thanked her for her insightful critique. (Okay, it’s possible that I actually wrote: “You horrible evil fucking bitch whore from hell…  I hate it when you’re completely right.” ) And I’ll be a good little writer and get up early tomorrow and rewrite the story from the other character’s POV.

But I’m definitely going to pout, whine, and moan about it. I figure there are times when I’m totally allowed to act immature.

So there.  Pfffttthhhhhh.

7 Responses to “Fine, I’ll be professional, but do I still have to be mature?”

  1. January 6, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Ah, so that’s where the “horrible evil fucking bitch whore from hell…with love” came from! 🙂

    I should probably seek out a critique partner. I’ve been hampered by the ending of a short story for a couple of weeks now and it’s really starting to piss me off.

  2. 2 Terri-Lynne
    January 6, 2010 at 10:12 am

    I tend to write in multiple POV. Whenever a bit isn’t working, I know it’s either that I’ve placed it too soon/late in the story, or it’s in the wrong POV. Sucks when it’s the POV thing and you have to rewrite, but damn if it doesn’t come much easier in the rewrite!

  3. 3 Lindsay
    January 6, 2010 at 10:59 am


  4. 4 Jeremy
    January 6, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Aha! So you do write short stories, too. I couldn’t find any mention of any on your website or bio here, so had just about decided that you only wrote novels. I enjoyed Mark of the Demon enough that I was hunting for short stories the other day that might help tide me over until next month when the sequel comes out. I started hunting a little early, though, sounds like.

  5. January 6, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Lol! Yes, critique readers are fantastic people, even if they may get a tongue poked out at them for their insightful comments.

  6. January 6, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Jeremy– I **rarely** write short stories. Sorry! In fact I only have two short stories that have been published (at this point). One is “Schroedinger’s Hummingbird” which can be found in Writers of the Future Vol XXII and the other is “Extant” which was published in The Age of Reason. But, if it’s any consolation, it’s only about six more weeks until the release of Blood of the Demon!

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