Your writing is done. You've made some dents in editing your work. Now you want some feedback. Are you ready for it?
Critiques are a necessary part of the editing process. It shows whether or not, the work you've put in for months or years translates well and if the writing is clear. It's a necessary process. It's also a nerve-racking one. Your first instinct is to have family and friends read and give their thoughts on your work.
If there truly helping, they would give you their honest opinion (this is where picking the right people is key, no one likes a yes man), but, you're more likely to seek either a professional or someone in your genre field to help assist. To provide suggestions or alternatives to a character, a plot or conflict. These critiques are needed in order to make our stories stronger, but it doesn't mean we have to like it.
Last month, I went through a doctoring session. It was painful. First, let me start out by saying it was an insightful, productive experience. I learned what to expect from judges when the times comes to submit my work. I learned easy fixes to scenes and dialogues that I have been making mistakes on. The doctorist (is that a word, well it is now) liked my angle. He found it to be an interesting concept and funny, sort of reminiscent of Beetlejuice (which is my favorite Tim Burton film). This was my external view.
My internal view was all tears, yelling, and ripping my hair out. He was dissecting every piece of my writing and I couldn't help but think it was a personal attack. Everyone that read it, understood what the story was about. They understood the breadcrumbs that lead to the ending, but somehow you didn't? Clarity was the issue, but I couldn't be anymore clearer than saying, "This is the reason why A is doing B". I was trying to present mystery, but obviously, I failed. I was trying not to be too simple and boring but failed.
It sucks when you've spent so much time and energy on something you've enjoyed creating only to have it basically pulled apart like Nebula in Avengers: Infinity War. To have to re-evaluate everything becomes a puzzle. It's a hesitant feeling to want to change everything or anything because you'd feel that the direction of where your story is going will change greatly. That map you created for your story, you've left no room for substitutions. So, know what?
After my crying fest, I stepped away from my work. I began hating it. Then I started over again. Picking through who the characters are, what the main goal is and researching how to make a piece of a puzzle fit. It was frustrating, still is, but I am working through it. As much as I am fussing and cussing under my breath about having to do this, the end result will greatly pay off. *fingers crossed*