Be Honest

Published October 31, 2013 by swankivy

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issue29

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The ugly truth of why you should never ask me to read your first draft. (Or, realistically, your second. Or maybe even your third. Maybe I just shouldn’t read books.)

I’m really not an absolute ogre–I can deliver bad news with grace!–but I’m extraordinarily picky and have trouble being lenient even if something is early in the process. But on the other hand, I’m not the only one to blame here. If you ask your beta readers to be honest, you’d better be ready to take their advice and make your work better. If you’re not going to listen, you don’t need an editor. You need a cheerleader.

3 comments on “Be Honest

  • yes it’s true that a lot of people don’t want the truth if it hurts.
    you have to know the truth or you just live in a fairytale life where everyone loves you. i would hate for people to pretend to like something of mine just to spare my feelings, so keep doing what you’re doing especially if you know the person CAN handle the truth, the others? well maybe they’re just not ready for a kick in the pants and life will teach them to ‘man up’ so to speak.
    showing people stories is like walking on eggshells; you’re someone who likes to read other’s work but others who read stories, it’s like, very touchy, they read it but they don’t comment, just brush it aside until you have to ask if they liked it and then they comment very briefly and don’t say much, as if you were just so egotistical to show them the story and ask their opinion. i have learned never to show my writing to people unless online, not in real life, not just hand it to them cause you get excited about having written a good (in your own opinion) piece and you’re happy about it. i think most people act weird about others showing their work, or really just push it aside and don’t bother to comment. for the most part people have reacted like it’s a burden or weird if i show them my story, it has mostly been a negative experience so i won’t do it anymore.

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