"There is no better way to spot room for improvements in your manuscript than by looking at it with fresh eyes. We routinely advise all writers to put their manuscripts in a drawer for a while, as a way of becoming their own fresh eyes."
I don't remember which book I got this from, so I can't quote it, so I'll just give it from memory:
When you get a written critique of your manuscript, you should first quickly skim over the "report" and then put it away for a few days/weeks. (Giving you time to calm down if it isn't what you want to hear.) Then get it out and go over it slowly, line by line. You may find some useful information, and it may be helpful in future rewrites.
I, myself, have found that my teachers were usually right, and that their comments helped me to improve my manuscript. Of course, I didn't see this wisdom until after I'd thrown the critique into a drawer for a brief period of time.
So, if you get critiques here you don't much care for... print them out and put them away until you can read them with an open mind. After that, you can use or discard whatever comments you want.
Last Edit: Mar 18, 2009 17:23:00 GMT -6 by Joxcenia
"A word of warning: because writing and editing are two different skills, they require two different mind-sets. Don't try to do both at once. The time to edit is not when you're writing your first draft. But once that first draft is finished..."
Last Edit: Mar 28, 2005 19:42:33 GMT -6 by Joxcenia
"When you write a story, you're telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story."
"Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words, but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right--as right as you can, anyway--it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it."
"The most important things to remember about back story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn't very interesting. Stick to the parts that are, and don't get carried away with the rest."