How honest are you when you critique other writer’s work? How honest do you really want your critique partners to be?
I don’t think I’ve ever been dishonest, though I know there are things I’ve kept to myself for the sake of the author’s feelings. Now I’m not so sure this was the best way to go.
The longer I write, the more honesty I crave. It is good to have a trusted reader point out what’s not working. It’s good to have someone pick apart a story and expose its flaws. A good critique partner/group is like a friend who cares about you enough to tell you there’s spinach stuck in your teeth. A good critique partner/group is both safety net and filter for your work before it faces the big, bad world.
Thank you Bonnie, Dayle, Denise, and Natalie. I owe a lot to your insight and honesty.
**I just came across this interview with Maggie Stiefvater on Myra McEntire’s blog. It’s a nice tie in to our discussion today. Notice members’ brutal honesty stems from their relationships with one another and a fearless belief in the power of revision.