Saturday, June 11, 2016
Today I am grateful for critique. It is never easy to have someone critique your work, but I learned a lot about the process when I critiqued kids work at the school I used to work at. Gentle is the name of the game. The good critics know this. Accepting the criticism with grace is as important as the writing itself. I was at a play reading where the playwright screamed at people who offered good, constructive comments. He picked up his script and marched out the door in a huff. Not cool.
Critique is to enhance growth so you do no service to the person who asked you to look at their writing if you don’t give your honest opinion. I submitted work for critique to the blog presenter. When she called my name at the beginning of the class to hand me back my stuff my heart flew out of my chest for a second. Then she told me she liked my work and gave me her card. Too cool.
Those of you who follow me on a regular basis know that I’ve made a point about not editing myself too much and shooting from the guts to the page. Often my pieces are too long for the accepted length of blog pieces. That was a very constructive comment and whenever I submit to another site for publication I will be a very good girl and play by the rules. I can write short if I have to, but probably still won’t worry about it too much on my own blog. Great critique, though.
I have also written whole pieces about my love of the three-dot ellipse to render a pregnant pause, the way I would if I were to perform it off of the page. Well it seems I get a little carried away with them. You think? The honest critique was that the over-use of them actually slows the reader down and pulls them out of the story a little. I get that. I’m not going to melt into the rug from the comment. I even agree, mostly.
But I can’t tell you how constipated my fingers feel at this moment because if you look back, although I wanted to use them 10 times in this piece already, I haven’t done it once. I wonder if there is a 12-step program to get me off of them? And again, when I submit to another site for publication, I promise I will be very judicious in my word count and the use of the three-dot ellipse. . .but probably not on my own blog. Baby steps!