Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hello, Subjectivity, how are you today?

Today I wanted to talk about a wall standing in front of unpublished writers. Her name is Subjectivity. And I'd say she looks something like this:

I sent a long (sorry again!) email to one of my CPs about this very thing last night. See, somehow my WIP became a finalist in a popular RWA contest. I nearly cried and definitely screamed. Well then I submitted the same thing for a critique and it was ripped apart. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a hard crit. But now I'm torn--do I fix all the issues? Fix only the issues that feel right to me? Ignore it? Tough thing to work through for sure.

But this is what I realized: subjectivity isn't just an agent/editor issue. No, subjectivity is something to consider with CPs and betas as well. This is why it's important to support your work. Love what you do and trust in your skills. I have a hard time with this, I'll admit, but I think it's vital for success in this business.

What do you think? Ever receive a crit that felt off? Ever give one and wonder if you missed the entire point of the MS?



  1. Definitely. You can't just accept all feedback at face value. There's a little bit of listening to your gut in there as well. Sure, if everyone is saying the same thing, then maybe they're right, but when you're facing conflicting feedback, sometimes you just gotta go with your gut. Good luck on the contest!

  2. Well first off: CONGRATS on being a RWA finalist! :)

    I always let crits that don't "mesh" with me sit awhile. Usually what the CP is saying to fix is not exactly what should be fixed but rather a symptom of something else. I usually look at what tripped them up rather than the fix suggestion!

    Remember it's your story in the end. :)

    Good luck!

  3. Sarah - great advice. When more than one person points out an issue I for sure think it needs attention. Thanks re: contest!

    Karen - Thanks! It was quite unexpected, and while it is a state RWA contest, I'm still thrilled. :) I never considered focusing more on the issue that caused the comment. I'll take that advice from now on with crits.

  4. So, whas it one CP that ripped it apart, or two or more? That makes all the difference to me. When two opinions align, I take that as a sign (gag - that just rhymed!) But then what about the contest results? Yeesh that's a tough one to call!

  5. Margo - Yes, it was someone who has never critiqued my work before, so not one of my CPs. Don't get me wrong, she did a fantastic job. Really great crit. I'm just confused how to proceed being none of my regular CPs mentioned the problem and then with the contest I'm o_o!