I’ve shared this blog before, but it’s been a while, and a message I think needs to be heard. As new writers, we sometimes listen to everybody but ourselves. Our friends and critique partners mean well, but if you let them, some will try to take over your novel and mold it into what they think it should be.
I was sitting on my couch reworking a scene in the novel I’m writing and stopped right in the middle of it. What am I doing? I asked myself. The purpose of the rewrite was to make some changes based on a critique I received from a critique partner.
The person that critiqued my book is very good at the craft, and I respect her opinion. There were others who critiqued the piece and loved it, offering a few comments here and there to correct grammar or replace a word. So who was right? The three people who loved it, or the one who thought I needed to go back and make some significant changes.
The more I looked at the changes this person suggested, the more I realized she had her own idea of the way the story needed to go, and I had mine.
With this being said, she’s made some great suggestions. Because of her, my story is more believable, my dialogue more natural, and my POV more consistent. Her critiques have been invaluable.
However, I had to remind myself that this is my story. Nobody has a better understanding of the dynamics than I do. Nobody knows it from beginning to end but me. Nobody can tell it better than me.
Weigh comments and suggestions you receive from others and ask this question. Is it making my story better or changing it into something it is not?
Remember: It’s your story.