I’ve been doing a lot of story critiques lately. I see a few different stages of writer because of this, each has pros and cons. Here’s what I’ve observed thus far.
There are the one edit writers. All they want is for someone to say they are brilliant and the story is ready to submit. Positives being they are confident and excited. These writers are wonderful cheerleaders and full of energy. But a good time can only get you so far with stories.
You need to hone your craft and it is hard to hear that truth sometimes.
There are the been-there-done-that writers who are looking for an in depth, nearly theological, critique (spelling can come later). They want to identify theme, structure, and character development. These writers know their craft which is essential to good stories. They will also tell you exactly where you went wrong whether you’re prepared to hear it or not.
You won’t keep critique partners if all give is harsh (yet true) feedback.
Then there are the repeat story writers. These writers want to get their story perfect and they will keep going until it is. These writers are wonderful at persistence and never giving up. However they also will have you look at their story eighty times after changing a couple words each time.
You need to keep writing new things not rehashing the same story to grow.
My critique group is all of these types and a mix at times between them, and I LOVE IT. Each type has something of value to offer the other. Each type has ways to improve. We need each other to round each out. Yes, I’ve fallen into all of these groups myself at one time or another… and yes I’m still changing and improving.
I strive to be a combination of all three of these types. I want the excitement and confidence. I need the writing craft skills. I strive for persistence.
So recognize where you’re at. Learn from those around you. If you don’t have a critique group- get one! You’ll not regret it. I’ve got a critique group that meets locally. I’ve got one that meets on Facebook. I’ve got another one that meets through Skype. All are wonderful and add so much to each of my stories. You can find a group that works for you.