Where I learn to be better at constructive criticism…

It’s only taken a couple of years, but I finally, FINALLY, convinced one of my friends to beta read my first novel.  She read it in a night (which, I mean, I don’t write super in-depth stuff, no surprise), and she kept on texting me about how much she loved it, how great it was (not to brag or anything).

And I trust her.  She’s one of my best friends, and I really trust her.

This morning, she sent me her notes.  I read them first thing when I woke up.  And I felt… angry.

  • Your main character needs some more obvious flaws.

She has flaws!  Are you not reading?  Her shyness?  Her anxiety?  ARE YOU NOT READING?

  • This part makes no sense.

Well, of course it makes sense!  You read it in a night.  Maybe you read it too fast.

My initial instinct was to be angry with her.  Shouldn’t she think my story is perfect?

No.  Of course not.  And after a few deep breaths (and maybe a mile of running at the gym), I started thinking sensibly.  She told me how much she liked it.  Her notes were an attempt to make it better.  So that when and if I publish it.  It’s a GOOD book.

I might not use all of her ideas.  But some?  Some make sense.  And maybe I am upset that my book isn’t perfect, but.  I’m coming around.  I can fix it.

Of course, that means revisions.  (Ugh)

And what am I going to do when I publish it and more reviews start streaming in from anonymous strangers?

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