by C. LaRene Hall
Last week in the David Wolverton newsletter there was a quote, “Any idiot can criticize my work--and most of them will." This made me think about the five critiques I recently received for a contest I entered. I’m not saying that the judges were idiots, but it surprised me how different all of their comments were. In fact, they were so different that I went on my own quest.
I took a trip to the library to check out seven of the Magic Treehouse books. Because a couple of judges said my book was too similar to that series, I had to see for myself. From this experience, I learned that you don’t ever take someone’s word for everything. I was able to decide they were wrong. I wrote my book for a different age group. The only similarity I found was my story also involved a brother and sister who went back in time. The way they accomplished this is entirely different. In my novel, the boy and girl have to solve all their own problems. They don’t have a magical book telling them what is happening, or giving them hints along the way. Everything they did while away from home could have happened to any other child.
I learned that you don’t let the comments of other people stop you from doing what you love to do. Another thing David said was, “No matter how well you write, you’re going to find plenty of people who hate what you do.”
People criticize for many reasons, but don’t let any of them stand in your way of accomplishing something that might someday be great. David also said, “When you’re new as a writer, the fear of criticism can be one of your greatest stumbling blocks.” Please, don’t let this happen to you. Don’t be afraid – keep writing.