Cutting Remarks

We write only to rewrite. That’s a law. You can write all you want to, and if you keep it to yourself, that’s fine. But what if you share it with someone? What if they make suggestions on how to make it better?

You have several choices. You can put the manuscript away and never write another word. This is a bad choice.

You can cry and stamp your feet and call the critiquer names. And keep writing without looking at the feedback. Another poor choice.

You can take a deep breath and think deeply about the suggestions. Then rewrite, keeping what you think is good, and changing what you agree to change. This is the best choice.

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QTIP means Quit Taking It Personally. It helped me through stressful times at a stressful job. And I have to get back to that point really soon here. You see, I am putting up chapters of my second Regency Banquet book for critique on Scribophile. Oh, I have my fans and I like hearing that what I wrote is better than anything on the book shelves right now. But I also have to give the same credit to the kind people who tell me, you should look at this and fix it.

The story is about a young British soldier who is captured by French farmers and chained up in their cellar. The first version of chapter one had people remarking that the brother wouldn’t leave his sister alone with the prisoner. So I changed that. Now she sneaks back down at night to treat the prisoner’s wounds. And I listened to my characters who wanted to get intimate right away.

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Now the critiques say I rushed to that point. So maybe Roland, the prisoner, is just having a sexy dream about Maryse, the sister? I have to cut that whole scene? Ow! Sigh. Well, get me my sharpest pen knife.

I worked through all of the choices listed above. I thanked the people for their input, and told myself I was just going to stop writing at all. I whined and stamped my feet and thought about not changing anything. Maybe when they read the whole story, they will understand why Maryse is taking advantage of Roland.

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Then I talked to one of my fans, who reminded me we can please some of the people some of the time. And that brought me back around to waiting a few days, looking at the advice again, and doing what needs to be done. That’s the whole point of critiques. You ask for this help. To ignore it is a pretty silly thing to do.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

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