Monday, August 1, 2011


The blogfest is yesterdays news now. I've learned gobs upon gobs of information and as I stare at my current WIP I can't help but wonder, should I filter my new found knowledge?

I met a wonderful buddy--well, I met tons, but one is particular--during the blogfest, and she brought up a very good point about the wealth of knowledge we receive from other awe inspiring writers and what to do with that information. Should we take everything and apply it, just some or none at all. And how do we choose?

Is it possible to be open minded to change and grow in your writing, yet stay true to yourself, your characters, your story and your process?

I am very curious to know what you all think and how you deal with filtering the information you get from blogfests, critique groups and everything else there is out there to learn about writing in general?


In other news I can't wait until Friday because I have the most spectacular guest visiting! New York Times best selling author JULIE KAGAWA of the Iron Fey series is joining us to share the goods on her writing process and some tidbits about her new book IRON KNIGHT due out in October. You do not want to miss it!

Another little thing I should probably mention just in case you notice I am completely off my block for the next week or so... I am moving. Packing and moving, then leaving for vacation this Thursday until Tuesday, coming home and getting kids ready for school. You know how it is. CRAZY! And crazy times means crazy me so forgive me if I say something and sound completely off my is what it is:) 

Until next time...
Keep writing. Keep learning.


Poetic Soul said...

Please keep spreading the knowledge

Unknown said...

When getting several opinions I try and keep a system. It's like I have THROW, KEEP, MAYBE piles set up on the floor. If only one person mentions a mistake and I disagree it goes in the THROW pile. If two or more make mention it goes in the maybe. If SEVERAL mention it goes in the KEEP (if I also agree). From there I slowly filter the maybe pile until I'm completely satifisfied.

So far it's worked every time!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the move. Great line up you've got for us. Will make sure to check back in. Take care.

The East Coaster said...

Critiques: If one person tells me something, it's worth considering. If two people tell me something, I need to rework it. If three or more people tell me the exact same thing, it's time to bring a blowtorch to that particular chapter/scene and start again.

Emily R. King said...

Deana, I've learned (the hard way) that it is possible to accept critiques, but a writer must have a strong sense of their writing and their voice in order to filter what should stay and what should go. This takes great practice and a thick shell, as you will hear things about your writing you aren't prepared to change. You have to know what's you and what isn't.
Thanks for the post. ; )

lindy said...

IMO it absolutely is possible to be open to criticism while staying true to yourself. I'm always willing to listen-heck, if someone is taking the time to try and help me, I'm all ears. But in the end I always go with my gut.

Super excited about Julie's upcoming visit this Friday--I've read her series and can't wait to see what she has to say!

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

At first I thought this post was about having a filter on my mouth. That probably needs to be purchased.

But you bring up some very good points. You got me thinking....(but I will be careful to filter what I say ;)

Michelle Fayard said...

It's not easy, but I firmly believe it's possible to remain open minded to change yet stay true to yourself and your book. When you receive advice and the voice inside you says "take it; hurry!" and once you've done so you feel your work is that much better, then you have been receptive and responsive to both external and internal forces.

Good luck with your move!

Juliana L. Brandt said...

I usually feel that with good information, I'll absorb it and it will become part of the info I have stored up, but with the things I don't like or need- that goes out the window :)

alexia said...

I think the key is to be truly open-minded to all critiques and advice, let it percolate for a few days, and then decide what is right for your book at this time. Often that's just a gut feeling. Advice can be contradictory, and you have to go with what you feel is true to your story.

Christa Desir said...

The blogfest was absolutely awesome. Many, many great things have come out of me being involved and active in the blogosphere. I think you need to balance people's feedback, but in the end, it is pretty much a win-win situation. People get to know you, you get to have fun, etc.

Vicky Bruere said...

Hi Deana
I have to say I agree with a lot of the comments. It's always worth considering advice in light of your own wider reading on craft development and opinions of experienced writers with a proven track record, and even then it's ultimately up to you and the direction you see your WIP taking.

Unknown said...

These are great comments.

The only thing I might add is vision. Your vision for a novel can change, but it can't go flapping about changing for anybody and everything.

If you're secure in your vision for a certain scene and a comment doesn't line up, lay it aside. Your vision might change later and that comment might become useful. But for the time being, if it doesn't sync, it doesn't belong. Gotta be tough on yourself to be open to changing your mind though!

Good, thought-provoking post!

Arlee Bird said...

I tend to forget an awful a lot, but as much as I can I either try to immediately apply the ideas that really excite me and file the rest away for maybe someday. Hopefully the mishmash of data filters throughout my mind and somehow finds its way into being useful.

Tossing It Out

Deana said...

You all have given me LOADS of great always:) It seems to be the underlying theme in all the comments to throw away what doesn't sit right with you and to keep what does. Shall we call that our writers instinct? I like it:)

Thanks everybody!

David M. Brown said...

Hi Deana

It's always difficult finding a balance between staying true to your ideas and accepting that some things need changes. I've made some major changes to some of my writing after initial resistance: looking back now it's MUCH better for it.


Leslie S. Rose said...

Info. waterfalls can be awesome and intimidating at the same time. I try to pick a focus when I go to a conference or retreat. That way I'm filling up those mental containers. I also take crazy notes so I can go back and review non-focus info.