Then, it occurred to me that others may be struggling with issues similar to mine and thinking, Am I alone in being haunted by irrelevant and silly critiques? If you've caught yourself thinking that, this post is a friendly reminder that, no, you're not alone. It happens to me too, so take comfort in knowing that at least one other person shares your experience. Also, please contact me so we can start a support group.
I'd like to preface this by stating that none of this applies to the wonderful writers in the Yahoo Groups critique group I joined. Everyone there has given me thoughtful and constructive suggestions. This is about the bizarre stuff I've heard in person and through other sources that I will not name to protect the guilty.
Here are the crits that I can't stand:
- The know-it-all who questions all of your research and clearly has no idea what she's talking about.
- Can you do/say that in this genre?
- I don't like the characters.
Take a pointer from Tina Fey's improv approach to life and just say Yes
Each story is a reality on its own terms. The question is not, "Does this appeal to me?" The question is, "Does this work for what it is?" If the story is set on a planet Earth with a plaid sky instead of a blue sky, guess what? That's great! Okay, so we're in a reality where the sky is plaid instead of blue. If the sky turns blue without explanation two pages later, that's cause for concern, but if it's consistent and other things in the story are equally bizarre, say yes to this new reality and deal with it on its own terms.
I'm sure I've managed to offend all 2-3 people who bothered to read this. I swear I'm not normally this snarky, but I'm so cheesed off right now, I had to say something.