Writing Tip #14-Critiques-What do you do about conflicting critiques?

I love writing. I love teaching. I love teaching writing. I love listening to writers talk about their manuscripts. I love problem solving with writers. I love the delicacy and boldness of writing. These tips are things I’ve learned over the years that have held me in good stead and kept me going through the hard dry times. I hope they help you.

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Often my students will ask me: ‘what do I do when I receive conflicting critiques about a character or a scene in my manuscript?’ I tell them it’s usually because they haven’t made a strong enough choice. Your readers are a barometer of how well you are telling your story so if you are getting wildly mixed feedback about a character or a scene or a chapter, I would bet it is because something isn’t logical or you haven’t committed fully and deeply to that scene. The reader is not convinced of your story in that section. Critiques are not meant for you to win the approval of the critiquer. They are meant for you to deepen your authority in the manuscript.