I recently submitted my first book to an online critique organization, so I could get a feel for what other people had to say about my first novel. I wanted to receive the critique from strangers who read the first two chapters and they gave me their honest opinion.

Of course my friends and family had all told me that they thought it was a great story and that they were very proud of what I had accomplished.

The first critique I received was a simple critique telling me that they enjoyed the story, and just laying out some simple suggestions about how they would rewrite certain sentences throughout the two chapters. They simply wanted to get their 300 word critique so that they could get their points. The suggestions were good, and they went on to point out that I was doing more telling rather than show. I wrote them back and thanked them for their critique.

The second critique, was much stronger in wording and length. This critique went into much more depth, pointing out how the story was rambling and definitely was telling rather than showing throughout the two chapters. How I took way too much time getting to the main cause of the incident that carried the book forward. That the incident should have been in the initial chapter of the book. He even went so far as to tell me that it was clearly evident that I knew nothing about raising children. He criticized everything about the story, the wording, how the sentence were structured, and that as far as he was concerned, the entire story would not sell, and that it was a total, loss, and that I should just trash the book.

I read the critique over several times and then set it aside. I wrote him back, and told him that I would review his critique and thanked him for his honest,y and that this was what I was looking for. I then waited for the next critiques.

I received an additional four critiques over the next couple of days. Those four critiques all mentioned how much they enjoyed the story. They told me that they saw a lot of promise in the way I presented the story, my abilities to write, my plot structure and development of my characters. They told me that I did have a problem in telling rather than showing and that I should work on that, and they went so far as to make suggestions on how I should change some of the paragraphs to show rather than telling.

I then sent all six of the critiques to a friend of mine who has handled all the editing of my stories, and asked him to read them. He threw out the most critical of the critiques and told me that that person was simply nothing more than a complete jerk. My friend Bill, told me from the moment he started reading my books he saw nothing but promise in my writing and that he was really surprise and that he hoped that I stuck with it.

I have learned over the years that there are people in life whose goal is to do nothing but tear people down. When they see the opportunity they go for with gusto and will do everything they can to destroy you, and make you feel like a troll. Don’t let them do it. Take what they say with a grain of sand, using what is good and deleting the rest. Move on with your writing and grow from it.

Life is grand and as writers we should have fun. We should never let anyone terraced down. We build worlds they can be either happy or sad fun or dangerous. When you come across someone who tries to tear you down, stop and write a story they completely buries them in your past, or what ever you want to do to them. You have been taken control. That’s the way therapist always tell us we should deal with are issues.