I had twenty pages of my non-existent manuscript evaluated by someone with credentials as part of a writing seminar this weekend. Which was an equally good and bad experience. Her overriding opinion was that it needed lots and lots of work. I will figure out the good reasons once I learn to take criticism as something other than personal injury. It's not like she told me to deposit my dreams in the nearest receptacle. She did tell me there was potential. Which is a bit like being told you could be kind of pretty, if you just did some tweaking in quadrants three and four of your face and had some liposuction on your way out of the surgeon's office. It also may have been easier criticism to handle if the person evaluating my work was a stout, balding man instead of young and pretty. Not only is this person confirming the notion that I will have to shelve my dreams of being esteemed and famous for maybe ever, but she also looks like I might have hated her in high school. I left the seminar a few minutes early because I was bored and feared I might be called on during the last workshop. Maybe I missed the grand finale where the organizers share a big laugh at our expense and announce that it was a practical joke and we're all being published? No wonder so many writers were alcoholics.
Things I want to do with your constructive criticism:
1. Return it to you for a full refund.
2. Ask it out to a nice dinner. Have a mutually good time getting to know each other. Flirt relentlessly with it. Act surprised when criticism offers to pay the bill. Do not return it's phone calls and act like we've never met before when I run into it at a bar.
3. Insult its mother.
4. (Not) apply it.