Do You See the Forest or the Trees?

I have a wonderful and seasoned critique group, and several members have won awards, contests or other writing accolades. Yet at times, we make me smile in thinking we’re all that. We read bestsellers and a member often remarks, “That line would never make it past this group!”
Writing Tip for Today: We need to always work on our craft, but beware looking at too many trees instead of the forest. What do I mean?

  • Whose Advice Do I Take? When you get these sorts of critiques, be reasonable about taking suggestions. You can’t please everybody.
  • It’s All Trash! Beware using laugh-out-loud bumbles in published books (even bestsellers) to declare that everything out there is worthless. I will admit though, that reading aloud typos, misused words or dangling participles can be fun.
  • Story Plus Construction Equals Good. If viewed exclusively, bad trees such as sentence construction can block out the sun of enjoying a story. I think it’s a shame if a great story is belittled, but the truth is that we all have to do both craft and story not only well but excellently.

Today is November 1, opening day for Nanowrimo. You have until the end of the month to churn out 50,000 words. Ready, set, go!

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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