“Critique is finally here! Oh yesh oh yesh oh yesh.”
“Wait a second. What if Critiquer thought my manuscript was A CHEESY OVERWRITTEN TRAINWRECK and was pretty much just embarrassed for me?”
*bites fingernails, hovers mouse over critique document without opening it*
*scans first few lines of critique. notices words like “heart-wrenching” and “brilliant.”*
“Oh yesh oh yesh oh yesh. I am a pretty bird. Oh yesh oh yesh oh yesh.”
*skims down a little further to the body of the critique. starts noticing words like “confusing” and “unconvincing”*
*starts skimming faster. notices words like “cut” and “rewrite.”*
*sits at computer. gazes blankly at screen. for six and a half hours.*
"Critique? What critique?"
*bakes lots of cookies, goes for walks.*
*sits down at computer. stares at critique. stares at manuscript. plays Eye of the Tiger on iTunes.*
9. Grim determination
*cuts hard-won chapters. rewrites scenes. finally gives in and starts book in a different place just like beta readers were saying all along.*
*sits up in her chair and realizes that manuscript is actually getting better. a lot better. like, whoa.*
*wonders if this feeling of great betterness is all in her head. wonders if all she’s doing is making things worse. wonders if maybe old beginning was better after all. bites fingernails.*
pushes through doubts and keeps revising. starts to realize that the betterness is no illusion. starts to wonder how she ever thought her manuscript was publication-ready before.
sends revised manuscript to agent/critique partner/friend. lies awake in bed worrying that manuscript is still a cheesy overwritten trainwreck and agent/critique partner/friend will think she is some kind of hopeless case.
gets e-mail back from agent/critique partner/friend. a/c/f loves new ms and thinks it’s ready.
“Oh yesh oh yesh oh yesh. Oh yesh oh yesh oh yesh.”
INTERN wants to know: Have you ever gotten a critique or revision letter from your agent or writing partner? Which stage of critique acceptance are you at right now?