Inspiration for Creatives ~ from writing tips and tricks to artistic fun, I share my experience as an editor, author, and artist in hopes of inspiring you and others to follow your dreams, improve your skills, and spread the creative spirit!
My family and friends read my story and loved it, so why does it keep being rejected by publishers?
You have to love family and friends, especially the truly supportive ones. Always make sure you appreciate them!
But, there are two main reasons why it isn’t such a good idea to have them critique your writing.
First, most loved ones only want to encourage you and don’t want to hurt your feelings by saying anything negative. This doesn’t mean they are lying to you or didn’t like the story, simply that they will usually tell you what you want or need to hear, or only the parts they liked—even if you ask them to be hard, they won’t, for your sake. Admirable and loving, most definitely…but not helpful.
Second, and most important, most family and friends don’t know the technical aspects of Goal-Motivation-Conflict, POV, pace, validation/details, or characterization, or the mechanical aspects such as Telling versus Showing, misplaced modifiers, disjointed body parts, and sentence structure. So, they may enjoy your story not knowing the facets that could make it better--and more important, publishable.
Not that you shouldn’t let family and friends read your work if you so choose, simply that you also need an impartial third party to evaluate and see what's really going on in your manuscript.
Critique partners are INVALUABLE for this. Getting with a group or even just one or two other writers to help motivate, and especially assist in finding the areas that aren’t working in your manuscript, is essential for the up and coming writer--well, in truth, any writer whether new or established.
Now, I will say that I equate finding a critique partner to that of dating. It may take feeling out a few to find the one or two that you can work with and feel comfortable sharing. Everyone has different personalities and different work ethics, and it is important you find those you are compatible with, so don't be discouraged if one or even a few don't work out initially, BECAUSE, let me tell you, when you find the right ones you click with, the added bonus is often building great and long lasting friendships.
If finding a critique partner isn’t up your alley or too time consuming for you, then having your manuscript assessed by a freelance editor is another option. There will obviously be fees associated with this choice, but the knowledge you will gain and the guidance in the areas that need to be improved upon can more than make up for the cost.
So, let your family support you, but don't put the pressure on them to evaluate your manuscript. Find a critique partner, writing group, or freelance editor to guide you down that path to publication.
For those who already have critique partners, how did you find them? Feel free to share to help others get connected.
When Elizabeth O'Leary meets up with the cowboy she's been avoiding for over two years, she doesn't know whether to trust her heart or her head. One tells her Grey Wulfsen just might be The One, the other tells her it doesn’t matter because he'll never forgive her when he finds out what she took away with her on that one starlit night.
From Mistress Bella Reviews:
"I just felt so involved with this story. I felt like I was watching a movie, the details, descriptions and facts were so vivid and real. And ladies…and some men…who doesn’t love a cowboy?"
5 Ribbons from Romance Junkies!!
"Stacy Dawn really pulls at the reader's heartstrings with One Starlit Night. Elizabeth and Grey seem to be perfect for each other but fear, misunderstanding and misconceptions could potentially destroy any hope they have for a future together. Ms. Dawn does a brilliant job of bringing her characters to life so that they feel like long lost friends."
“Grey!” The name tore from her lips involuntarily, and Elizabeth clasped a hand over her mouth to silence the terrified screams clogging her throat.
Painfully still moments coursed by before she saw the gloved hands brace themselves in the dirt and a dusty blond head raise.
Still crouched on the ground over her folder, she was in perfect alignment for eyes the color of buffed steel to lock onto hers.
This was exactly what she had wished for—and prayed to avoid. The ever logical side of her argued that the recognition tilting the corner of those sculptured lips up was just her imagination. The bold woman she’d locked up deep inside over the past two years said otherwise. He knows, he remembers.
Forcing herself to break the eye contact, Elizabeth shook her head and clasped onto logic like a rock wall. Being pragmatic had never let her down before, and even, in a roundabout way, it had worked out that one weak moment, too. Hadn’t she gotten what she wanted? At least for the most part.
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