Saturday, April 9, 2016

H is for Honesty

This year for the A-Z Challenge, I'm attempting to act like I know what I'm talking about and offering advice about writing.  Let's see how I do!

Also, don't forget to stop by the Parallels blog to see more posts about the upcoming anthology, which will be available on May 3rd!

Writers struggle with honesty when it comes to their own work.  We don’t intentionally lie to ourselves about our work, of course.  We simply don’t have the objectivity required to look at it in an honest way.  It’s our baby.  We worked countless hours to bring it to life.  Every line, every character, came from us.  We may love it so much that we can’t see when it needs to be changed.  When someone suggests that we cut a section of it or switch things around, it may be hard to even entertain the thought.  Why would we destroy something that we worked so hard to create?

If we want to improve our storytelling abilities, we need to consider the suggestions our readers make.  While we as writers must make the final decisions as to how we tell the story, we must also acknowledge that readers may spot things we don’t.  If you get a suggestion that makes you cringe, take the time to read things over and seriously consider it.  Be honest.  Consider it as if you’re a reader.  Instead of resulting in the butchery of your tale, it might make the story stronger.


  1. Such a valuable post for writers. Writing critique groups, beta readers, editors . . . all are so important for creating a quality piece of work!

    Julie Valerie - A to Z Challenge
    Menu of Ways to Be Happy

  2. Part of the problem is that the story that exists in our head can be bigger and richer than the words that actually made it on the page. As the creator, we don't register the gaps, but a reader will. When they point out the deficiencies we balk because we know what we intended whether that made it to the actual pages or not.

  3. I kind of use the democratic approach. If several CPs and betas mention the same thing, it's a safe bet I need to change it. But if it's only one having a problem with something no one else does, then I'll keep it my way. It's good to be open to opinions, but also good to recognize you'll never please everyone. Great post - have a lovely weekend! :)

  4. I think it's definitely hard to be honest with ourselves when it comes to something not working. It took me FOREVER to finally accept the fact that I needed to rework the last third of my WIP. Still figuring it out, but accepting that was a big step.

  5. I think sometimes my inner editor is brutally honest after the WIP had been languishing for a while in a virtual drawer. She's usually right, though sometimes I ignore her advice and get an I-told-you-so when I rewrite it as suggested :-)
    Good luck with the rest of the AtoZchallenge.

  6. I've found every suggestion made in regards to my writing has value. I may not take it to heart, but I do think about it, and tweak sometimes based on the suggestion. After all if I sent it off to beta readers, then they're only doing what I've asked them to do. I've received some great advice, some not so great advice, and some really crazy advice, but I always look at it seriously. The only thing that really pisses me off is a review where the reviewer admits to not having read the book! Totally unfair. :)

  7. It's always good to be open-minded when listening to others' opinions of our writing. Sometimes it's hard to step back and look at our work critically, but it's something we all have to do.

  8. Very true. Getting critique notes back always hurts, but it also always helps make the story better.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  9. Hi there!

    I’m stopping by from the #AtoZChallenge. I couldn't agree with you more. In my heart I know I am a strong writer but in my head I constantly argue with myself about whether I'm good enough or not...;)

    I have two blogs in this challenge…my author blog at THE STORY CATCHER ( and my KICKS Kids Club blog ( . If you get a chance, check them out and good luck with the challenge!

    Donna L Martin

  10. Feedback is a tricky but oh so valuable thing. The trick is to know when to ponder and use it and when to disregard it.
    Discarded Darlings

  11. I think this is great advice but it's not always easy to do. thanks for sharing

  12. My two 'editors' are prepared to ignore my immediate tantrums after they send back their suggestions. I have to complain about them and their red pens first, then I can take things seriously. :)