Supposedly such a simple thing.. You say what you think in a polite way – honesty and bluntness aren’t actually the same thing - and hopefully the recipient is appreciative of it. Providing you haven’t decided to be honest at an entirely inappropriate time (i.e the moment in the wedding ‘does anybody object’ – if you haven’t said it by now too bl@$dy late!). There certainly is a time and place.
That of course brings us around to the people who love drama and feed off negative energy. You know the sort, the ‘friend’ who announces in front of a group of others that you’ve got something stuck in your teeth.. ummm thanks for that…
And then for the writer comes the critique. You’ve asked someone you know to read your MS and give their opinion on it.
Cept they hate it. No matter what they do they can’t ‘get into it’. And so the weeks drag by with no response. You wonder what the heck’s going on? It wasn’t that long and surely they would have mentioned if they were an absolute snail of a reader. So after a good month and a half you confront them.
They’re mortified and apologising while you’re just relieved that’s all the problem is!
I absolutely accept that not all people will like my writing. I personally don’t read many books by male writers. Not because I’m a raving feminist (contrary to what my blog title may suggest – I just believe in equality) but because I find I often can’t connect with the way men write. There are of course exceptions, but more often than not I read books by female authors.
So why this post? A lovely guy who offered to critique my MS ages ago finally fessed up today that it wasn’t his thing. A huge sigh of relief for me as I was beginning to contemplate bodily harm (you have my MS!! My baby!!). I couldn’t help but laugh as he was apologising, I’m not going to hold that against him!
My book is not a ‘full on fantasy’ like some of the books I’ve seen. It’s a chatty narrative and flicks between first and third person which is an unusual approach I know, so if you don’t get it that’s okay.
I know a lot of people consider it an ‘honour’ to be asked to critique someone’s MS and I think that’s very sweet, but really – it’s an honour to me if you’ll consider doing it. It’s a hard job to critique and I appreciate anyone who helps me in this sense, even if you realise you can’t do it. Thanks for trying – I couldn’t ask for anything more.