Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Over Editing

Yesterday, Lindi talked about critiquing, and Cousin Wendy's response got me to thinking about how as new or unpublished authors, we often tend to over critique or over edit. This became evident to me this past summer when I met with an agent who looked at a sample of my work and pointed out areas where I had overdone or overwrote something. And in almost every one of those instances it was because of some question or something someone said in a critique.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we need to abandon our critique groups/partners. I wouldn't trade my critique group for anything. But if what someone is telling you doesn't resonate with you, then leave it alone. There comes a time when you have to trust your instincts.

Here's another example. What if God has laid a story on your heart, yet as you write it and get it out there, someone tells you that it's going to be a hard sell in the CBA due to the subject. Well, guess what? If God laid that story on your heart it's because someone out there needs to hear it. He's got a place for it. Don't let anyone stop you from doing what God wants you to do.

Have you ever had a critique that just totally deflated you? What did it do for your story? Did it make you give up on it, or did it make you rethink things and in the end drive you toward a better story?

Do you think anyone ever told Francine Rivers a story about a prostitute would be a hard sell?


  1. I love that book, Mindy!

    Sure do miss you at NT - hope all is going well for you.

    Jen FitzGerald

  2. Well said Mindy. I thing we can write our voices out of the story. That's why ideas and such are so precious when we start to build our story. "Our" story. Not someone elses version of how we should tell our story.
    I love gut instinct. I think it works. And like you, I think if you are listening to God and following Him, the story will be His and there will be a place for it.

  3. Great post. If I question what someone is telling me, I'll ask someone else to read it or I ignore it.

    In the early years I took a lot of unnecessary beatings from contest judges and critique partners who seemed to be getting ego trips out of it. These were not Christian writers. I didn't start writing Christian fiction until 2006 and ACFW is one of the best things that happened to me. The critique partners I've met have been wonderful. I think there's something that can be said for HOW a message is delivered.

    I'm at a point in my writing where I pay close attention to feedback I recieve from my agent and editors he has submitted to.

  4. Jen, I'm so glad you stopped by. I miss y'all, too.


  5. Sorry, Mindy,..... I do have a Google account but it wont let me post on here - I dont know why. I guess its a blonde thing!

  6. Okay, now I'm left to wonder who this mysterious blonde is. . .