Thursday, March 4, 2010

Constructive Criticism

As most of you know that read my blog (all 3 of you). I write novels. I have written three but only one that I feel is ready to show its shining face to the world, blemishes, beauty marks and all.

At some point when you write a novel you either decide for one reason or another that you don’t want anyone else to see it so you hide it away, or you decide that you want to share it. If you choose the latter, then you begin the frightening road of attempting to get it published.

This is where I am.

I sent my very first query letter out this weekend and got a very prompt rejection. All you writers out there are cringing because you fear I’m treading very dangerous waters here. I am not here to complain about this rejection. In fact I am very appreciative of it, though in hind sight it probably wasn’t the best plan to submit my first query for a “brutally honest” response.

I’m not going to lie. It stung. But after I picked my ego up out of the dust and brushed it off, I thought about what she said. I let it marinate for a day and I realized she was right. My query was plastic. There was no passion, none of the heart and soul that makes my book different from the others that have a similar premise.

I have rewritten my query and think it is much better for it. I am grateful to the agent who took the time to give it to me the way she saw it. (Bonus side effect: It makes the form rejection I received before I retooled my query feel like cake, so there’s that.)

So I guess I should make a point? If you can get past the initial sting and not dwell on the negative you will see criticism for what it is, something constructive that is there to help make you better.

(Disclaimer: Do be careful whose advice/criticism you take. Not all criticism/feedback is positive. Everyone has an opinion and some people say things just to be mean spirited. Also, you know your work and how special it is. Don’t ever let anyone, good intentions or not, make you stop believing in yourself.)

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Monica Millard's books on Goodreads
Children of the Gods Children of the Gods (Chosen, #1)
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ratings: 44 (avg rating 3.91)

Chosen - A Children of the Gods Short Story Chosen - A Children of the Gods Short Story
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The Fall The Fall
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ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.83)

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Darkhouse
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Rebellion
Blood and Feathers
The Rithmatist
Forbidden Blood
Last Blood
Out for Blood
Bad Blood
Flesh and Blood
Blood Rights
Girl Parts


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