>Thanks to Gail Dayton, my accountability partner, for the title and phrase for this post. I was thinking in terms of believing in your story, etc., but her phrase “protect the work” fits SO much better. Thanks, Gail!
It’s taken me a long time, as a writer, to get to the point where I’m able to “protect my work”. In other words, I feel secure enough in my vision of a manuscript to discard advice given in a critique, even if it comes from a published author.
That’s not to say I’m so married to my words that I ignore anyone who doesn’t agree with me. Not at all. I’ll admit to a little arrogance now and again, but mostly it’s that I’m able to step back from the criticism now and look at the advice more objectively.
For me, majority rules – most of the time. If three people love something or ‘get’ it and one doesn’t? Go with the three, but remember, your opinion counts too.
If they’re split 50/50, it’s your call. Ask yourself, What works better for your story, your character, your vision?
I hadn’t really thought about how knowing what kind of story you want to write helps to give a writer enough confidence to “protect the work” until I read Gail’s insightful blog entry. She’s absolutely right, IMO. I didn’t always know what kind of story I wanted to write. Vaguely, yes. Concretely, no. But once I had that direction pinned down, my story ideas came more sharply into focus.
Look for a post later this week on how to determine what kind of story (or stories) you write best.
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