I got to take another trip to see the Writer-in-Residence at Western University today. The last I spoke with him, Gary Barwin suggested that I take the writing we had gone over that day and edit it, then return so we could see where we were at.
First reaction – it’s better. Yeah!
And while that should be a given, he noted that he had spoken with someone else who had made changes after their consultation and the piece was worse. A lot worse. So his words were encouraging. That being said, there were still plenty of marks on the pages he had printed off for us to go over. But it is all good.
I have come to realize that constructive criticism is exactly that – constructive! If someone doesn’t get what is going on or being implied, then it’s not usually their fault, rather yours, for your lack of clarity. So if someone points out places where they are confused, then that is exactly where I need to go back and make some changes so that other readers don’t become confused as well. No need to challenge poor readers, as they are the very people that we writers are trying to reach!
So while I return back to the beginning of my story once more, I don’t think I will spend too much more time there. Some minor revisions here. Cut a few words, sentences or even a paragraph there, but I am on my way. Before I know it, I will be leaving Cape Town behind and getting into the meat of my adventure. Back to Africa with me…