Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dilemma

My crit partner is a fellow writer. I value and respect her judgement, and her comments have helped me make ASF a better and stronger book.
My reader is not a writer. I value and respect his judgement, and his comments have helped me make ASF a better and stronger book.

BUT... there are some scenes where their advice is diametrically opposed. Examples:
Scene A
She says it pulled her out of the book, the action wasn't believable
He says it was and it was very exciting.

Scene B
She says I can cut a lot of the stuff because it slows the action. The level of detail is too much.
He says he could really see what was happening and loved it.

Scene C
She doesn't like one piece of description.
He says it was great.

Which just goes to show that you can't please all the people all the time.

I'm looking very carefully at these scenes. Of course it's tempting to say -- Oh, the reader loved it, it must be good. But then again, he didn't pick up on quite a few of the other things that she did. And as she didn't see the ms before I made the changes he suggested, I'll never know if she would have given the original a nod of approval (though I really doubt it; she's very good at this).

At the end of the day it is MY book. I can do what ever I want. But if I take that attitude, why did I waste these kind people's precious time asking for their input? What I want is to see ASF on the shelves of the book stores. If I'm in a quandary now about making changes, imagine how much more difficult it will be if an agent or editor asks for changes to those same scenes. But on the other hand, if I'm in the fortunate position of having an agent or editor request changes I suspect I'll be more than happy to oblige.

Why is this SO difficult????

1 comment:

Theadra Leilani said...

Excellent post. You are not the only one in this position. Ultimately, it is your voice and your idea that will be shopped to the agents. All the advice is opinion. You have to be comfortable with story, have confidence in it, and be willing to be flexible to any ideas that come from the agents. If you do what you think is right, the manuscript will be better for it. Just because someone recommends it, doesn't mean you have to listen. The fact that you're open to hear what's said is already half the battle. It's giving you practice for when (not IF, when) you get an agent!