The Joy…yes Joy of Critique

The first time, I got a critiqued, bit o’ novel back, I took one look at the red, and was sure my critique partner, had slit her wrists.  I think I cried for forty-five minutes, swore I could never make the “thing” readable, and ate a half pound chocolate bar.

Receiving critiques can often feel, like someone pulled your toenails out with a pair of pliers. However, to be on the receiving end, is a blessing.  I’ve learned things, from the people who’ve shared their time and energy, which I never would have learned otherwise.

I thought my biggest issue was commas, until someone pointed out how many areas needed action, in that first draft.  Showing, not telling…I’d heard that, a time or two. However, until a wonderful writer said, look…this spot right here…you can change it to this, and it will be showing. OH! (slaps head) I got it!

Kay Springsteen (Yes, the one, who churns out perfect novels, like a wild woman), has told me many times, the editor learns as much as the editee (Shut up, it’s a word).  I didn’t realize how true those words were, until I was entrusted with two beautiful pieces of literary wonder.

In sharing your time, you usually find, the very things you pick out, with ease, in another’s work, are the things you’ve ignored, in your own, over and over.  It takes, a good bit, of faith to allow someone to critique your work, but it takes more faith, (in yourself, and your abilities), to lend your advice on another’s work.

The ladies who’ve let me critique their work, are always very humble, thanking me over and over, but they fail to realize, how much I gain from the experience.

So, I just wanted to say, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read, edit, or love, my work, and thank you, thank you, to those who have allowed me, to read, edit, and love yours.

Happy Critiquing!

Monique O’Connor James

Author of “The Keepers” coming June 2011 from


4 thoughts on “The Joy…yes Joy of Critique

  1. What a beautiful post…*cries*
    I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again….you are an editing/critique ANGEL!!!

  2. “Editee?”

    Really? Where’s the action to go with this post? Were you painting your nails as you typed? Eating more chocolate?

    She typed a few words, took a bite of her chocolate bar, then stared at the nail polish while she finished chewing the candy. Maybe later. She had a blog to finish. Besides she still hadn’t decided on blush pink or scarlet red…

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