Do you stand behind your manuscript?

When you are exercising, do you hydrate? When your car is overheating, do you add water to the radiator? If it is cold in the house, do you leave the windows open?

When people in your beta or critique group layout suggestions, do you pay attention? Do you ignore what you are hearing? Do you put up a strong front knowing full well the critique is off base?

One example that comes to mind happened a few years ago at my writing group. The group of like-minded people told me I needed to strip two chapters out of my book.

I was shocked. I knew inside that was not going to happen.

Why?

I know my characters, I know my book, and the reason those chapters were in that volume was to help educate children.

I didn’t vocally fight hard for my book at that meeting. The opinions, in a critique group, were off base. They were even close to what I was trying to accomplish, and it was clear they were not going to listen to me. I did raise some objections only to hear again those two chapters needed to go.

I have learned a lot from my writing groups. I have used many of their ideas before. But not everything you get from a group works.

You know your book better than anyone in this world. It is unable to talk for itself. It needs you to do that.

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