Sunday, January 22, 2012

My First Professional Critique (continued)

It was mentioned to submit your best work for the critique but I was too attached to what I thought my best work was and I just wasn't ready to share it from a "psychological point of view" and  "it needs more polishing" point of view. So I submitted my second picture book that I had a lot of fun writing.
My critique came from Ruta Rimas an associate editor from Margret K. McElderry Books, Antheum Books for Young Readers. At my first glance, I was blown away by the presentation- I immediately new she put quality time and thought into it. First page, which was on her company's letterhead, was a note of congratulations for taking the step to be critiqued which she recognized as not an easy step to take. Next was recognition of my nice imagery and fluid writing. Then the last third of the page was bullet points filled with questions and opinions. The second page had three examples of bedtime stories to look at and she didn't just list them, she took the time to copy in color the book covers onto the page. Behind that, my manuscript with hand written notes. I really got the sense that she truly wanted to help me improve my writing from the time and care that she put into my critique. She gave me a lot to think about! Some I threw overboard and others started a flood of ideas for rewrites.
     I know a couple of writers that received critiques like mine and never paid to have another critique done or left that piece behind because he/she was devastated by the critique. Words of advice- detach from your beloved manuscript and read your critique with an open mind. Everyone is unique, therefore, opinions will vary. Look at a critique like a map and like any map, there are several directions to go. There maybe routes that you never thought of before that seem worth exploring and there will be others that say to you "that's not the direction to sail!" So appreciate the map  for what it is and use the routes that you think will improve your story and hopefully an editor will think so too!

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