How to Interpret Criticism

This is, finally, the follow-up post to The Yin-Yang of Writing.  I previously asked for examples of criticism from readers, and received some really useful comments, which I shall use here.  I’ll also be presenting examples from my own experience.

I’m going to stick to criticism of fiction, because non-fiction is a little different, and doesn’t apply to most of my readers anyway.

You get the most out of criticism when you look behind the words.

Someone once sent me the following crit:

Beautiful writing.  So what?

I’m sure you can imagine my younger self; the indignity, the fuck-you-buddy.  So what?  SO WHAT?  It was beautiful!  You’re just too crass and ignorant to appreciate it!

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