Anticipating negative responses, and the pre-emptive strike against criticismA Lesson by Mike Lamb
Find out exactly what you're doing wrong so that you can stop and ask yourself whether or not you give a s**t. If you don't, make it known.
Now I should start out by saying that most of this is bad advice. It's risky and it won't work for everyone. There's a lot of good advice out there that you should listen to. However, sometimes it just doesn't work for what you want to do. If you write something that you love and are given suggestions on how to make it better, then you have some decisions to make. For one thing, how do you define better? And according to whose standards? Now, before you get too cocky, accept the fact that you just might suck. So don't go mouthing off at everyone that makes a suggestion to you. Here's what you do: make the changes and compare the old version to the new version. Which one do you prefer? If you like the new version, then keep it...not because other people say it's better, but because you agree with them. Put your ego aside and thank your critics for useful input. On the other hand, if the new version doesn't feel right or takes the story in the wrong direction, then don't feel like you have to change it to please others.
Now, when someone gives you criticism that you feel is irrelevent to your goals (whether it relates to plot, mood, characters, dialogue, or whatever), they've actually given you a powerful asset. You now know--in advance--what your more critical readers are going to complain about. This means you have the power to write a comeback straight into the story. Think about reading a book that gets really weird and confusing, and you stop and think "What the f**k is this crap?" You don't expect the next sentence to be a smart a*s retort to your unspoken complaints. But if the author knew you would think that, they could address the issue in any way they wanted. And you would stop and think, "Holy s**t...I just got into a psychic arguement with a book and I f*****g lost!"
Added on September 12, 2010
Last Updated on September 12, 2010
AboutArtist, writer, and a drunken lunatic prophet. I am the author of Jack's Inferno, a dark comedy bizarro/horror novel about Hell, previously published through Wordplague (now defunct). I am also a pro..