How to Tell if Criticism is Valid (And What to do About Valid Criticism)

One of the best ways to improve your manuscript and get it ready to submit to agents and editors is to have another writer read it and offer an honest critique. And getting several such critiques is even better. Although most writing manuals tell you that this is crucial for improving your writing, many authors still avoid having their manuscript critiqued. Some believe that only they can judge what is right for their work. Others fear that they will be emotionally shattered by the criticism and it might even cause them to stop writing. Of course, most of us bruise easily, and can’t bear to be criticized. But that’s not the only obstacle. Even if we steel ourselves for criticism and claim that we are ready to accept advice, there is still another problem: How do we determine what is a valid criticism versus that which is purely subjective or even gratuitous? When should we listen to the criticism? And once we do, what steps should we take to follow that advice? See More . . . 

This guest post is by Sharon Hart-Green. Hart-Green is the author of the debut novel COME BACK FOR ME, a story of trauma, loss, and the redemptive power of love set in the aftermath of World War II. It was chosen as the inaugural fiction offering of The New Jewish Press. Sharon received her PhD in Judaic Studies from Brandeis University and has taught Hebrew and Yiddish literature at the University of Toronto. She is currently at work on a second novel about the mystical inclinations of a young man in search of love. You can connect with her on 



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