Hello, and welcome to Tabby's Nocturnal Nights. Today I'm going to talk about the value of critiques.
As writers we know the value of receiving critiques on our MS's. It's really a no-brainer. If it wasn't for my crit partners I would still be fumbling around in the dark with a manuscript full of mistakes and broken rules. I literally value every single critique I have gotten, and every critique has helped in one way or the other. Some of my partners are great at grammar, others at punctuations, and others at spotting plot holes.
I have had crits that yes, have seemed quit unhelpful, but even those crits made me stop and think. I went over the points they had made and decided whether or not their comments worked with my story and my voice.
As the author, it is up to me to either take their advice or not. This is very important. Just because something was mentioned in a critique does not mean you have to use it. You really need to analyze their comments and suggestions, or if you do like something they suggest or how they may have reworded a sentence or paragraph, please make sure you reword their suggestions to fit your own unique writers voice. Otherwise when you go back through your manuscript it will sound all patched and pieced together because what has happened is you have incorporated other's styles, habits, and voice.
Usually when I receive a critique, I read it over, and then before I apply anything, I let it sit for a few days. During these few days, I examine what each critter has suggested. If I like and agree with some of their comments I then reword them in my own voice and my character's voice. This way the story stays consistent.
When I first started receiving critiques on my MS I thought everything that was suggested had to be used because the critter wouldn't have suggested it if it wasn't right. Right?
When I read back over my MS, my story ceased to sound like my story. It had become a combination of all the critters who critted for me.
Finally, I opened my eyes and realized something huge. I didn't NEED to take all the advice as gospel. It was up to me—the author--to decide what would work for me.