The leaves of brown came tumbling down

September. Where did August go? Probably a question I should stop asking. A month always feels like it lasts forever until the end is nigh and then it feels strangely short. August did have thirty one days, right? I think so, I’m writing this on the 31st.

Word count wise, August wasn’t the best for me. Editing and preparing for publishing this year? Definitely good. Still keeping up on that.

Time to talk about critiques. Critiques are good. Whether they are positive or negative, I think they are all good. Though there is the difference between a critique and an insult. I shared a piece last month and got the feedback that I hadn’t “earned” the ability to do something and was asked “what the hell the point” of the scene was. At first I was horrified. Then I started to laugh. Someone read a single scene and had the gall to ask me what the point was?

I would have taken that if someone had read the entire story, or even the entire chapter. But that scene alone? The first scene at that? That comes off as an insult. Especially the phrasing “what the hell”. Oof.

I love to critique other’s Writings. I recognize there is an art to it. I will share my opinions on a story all day. If only a handful are ever implemented that is perfectly fine. If someone takes up a single part of the critique, that changes the entire showing of the rest of the showing. Who knows if all of the same critiquing will be effective. Not that a single critique usually invalidates everything else, but you know what else? Critiques are also opinions. And someone’s opinion about your work isn’t always what you want to do with it.

Looking back on that, erm, “review”… It was less of a critique. A critique can tell me I did a bad job. But it shouldn’t insult me to do it. You critique the Writing, not the author. You critique to the best of your ability, because even if the author doesn’t take any of it straight on, the passage will be a different read in a different draft.

If only it was as easy to tell these differences with your own work as it is for others. We Writers wouldn’t have such a dramatic need for alpha and beta readers.

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