Skip to main content


Showing posts from October 26, 2020

Thoughts on Brutal Critique Peers

Are brutal reviewers always good for you?  Are they more often right than wrong just because they're brutal?  A friend recently said she had a "brutal critique partner" that could be relied on. It got me to thinking about brutal reviewers in my own experience who were worse than useless and actually destructive.  We need to keep in mind that the better an ms becomes, the harder such “brutal critics" are forced to scrape and excavate, inevitably focusing on matters of taste, e.g, “I don’t like that character's personality...” as opposed to “I think this point could be made clearer by doing XYZ.”  Place 10 of these brutal negatives in a room and they'll shred an unpublished novel to pieces, each in their own special way. But if the exact same novel were actually written by a commercial author favorite of theirs, they would not only praise it but compete with each other to deliver the most positive, in-depth insight into the work. Th

The Evil Authors Do

Authorial Misdemeanors - Agent Richard Curtis There seems to be a law of nature that the quality of a manuscript declines in inverse proportion to the elaborateness of its package. When I receive a manuscript bound by brass screws with a plastic embossed cover, lovingly wrapped in chamois cloth, set in a velvet-lined cedar box, shrink-wrapped, packed in turn in a fireproof strongbox secured with iron bands, I am prepared to stake my career on the likelihood that this book is one colossal dud.