Reviews, Story: The Red Bridge, Updates

My first cold critiques.

ImageI’ve only let a few people view the first half of my current work in progress, my novella, The Red Bridge. And of those few people, 100% of them are people who personally know me. It wasn’t until last year that I ventured out and let strangers look at my work.

Last November I posted the first chapter of The Red Bridge on a writing critique site. Unfortunately, I chose the worst possible time to do this as those who regularly offer critiques were in the middle of NaNoWriMo. Because of my impeccable timing I received only two responses, but that was two more than I would have had if I had never taken that step.

As anxious as I was to read what strangers would say about my work, I was also fearful about how my work would be received. But that fear turned to joy after I received the two critiques because . . . they actually liked it.

Sure, they had several areas of suggested improvements, but (because I am my own worst critic) their compliments about my work took me by surprise.

Here are the two compliments I received:

“The language here is full and robust and a pleasure to read.”


You do have a flow to your words and a descriptive prose that makes what you have written a pleasure to read.”

I was truly humbled and honored that two individuals who I do not know described my labor of love in such a manner. And even more importantly, their words provided me with encouragement to continue in the world’s loneliest craft.



2 thoughts on “My first cold critiques.”

  1. Don’t let fear put you off sharing your work, I think everyone has some nervousness sharing anything they’ve written, but especially fiction. The worst anxiety to me is getting no response at all, which is silly really, but it’s probably because I’m used to getting a lot of response. I can relate now in a way to writers who have had success with their novels being worried about their new book not being a success, it must cross the minds of most writers at some point!

    I’m just wondering if you might find it easier to share something specifically written as a short story to share instead of the novel you’re working on, it might feel less personal?


  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Suzy. As a matter of fact, I stopped working on my novella and for the past year have been devoting my time to short stories.

    And just to clarify, I am no longer as anxious of critiques and/or rejection any more as I am of pirates:

    I expend so much time, blood, sweat, and tears into my projects that having one lifted would be devastating.

    I have had enough compliments on my writing (since these comments last year) that I now feel much more confident in my work. Not overly confident, but much more sure that I actually have something worth offering to readers.


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