How to Take Criticism Like a Pro

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Kristen Lamb's Blog

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One of the greatest blessings of being an author and teacher is I meet so many tremendous people. I feel we writers have a unique profession. It isn’t at all uncommon to see a seasoned author take time out of a crushing schedule to offer help, guidance and support to those who need it. I know of many game-changers, mentors who transformed my writing and my character. Les EdgertonCandace Havens, Bob Mayer, James Rollins, James Scott Bell, Allison Brennan are merely a few I can think of off the top of my head.

J.E. Fishman is another, and he offers a very unique perspective because he’s worked multiple sides of the industry. He was a former NYC literary agent, an editor for Doubleday and now he’s a novelist. His newest book A Danger to Himself and Others

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Operation: Organize Brain

I’ve been looking—well, staring—at my computer screen all week trying to work on my WIP.

But:

Where do I start?

What order should the scenes be in?

What should be in this particular scene/chapter?

How many books will cover this story?

Whose POV should I use?

Should I switch up POV?

My brain is going crazy! I have tons of information/backstory. The basic skeleton for my WIP is outlined. I’ve been on Scrivener. I’ve transferred most of it to a Word document . . . I just can’t focus on the screen long enough to put order to my chaotic brain.

Today, I took charge! Here is what I accomplished:

Step 1:

Print off all the scenes

*most of my scenes are just the dialogue or notes/thoughts about what needs to go in the scene.

Step 2:

Use scissors and cut up the scenes

Image.

*I was also playing a game of war with my youngest…as you see…I’m great at multi-tasking!

Step 3:

Use paper clips to fasten together any scenes that are on more than one page & then color-coat so you know which book (or chapter, if you only have one book) the scenes are in.

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*I used yellow, purple, and orange marker (so pretty!) = this WIP will end up being 3 books (with novella options…possibly…)

Step 4:

Divide into three (or more) acts/turning points. Write that major event on a piece of notebook paper. Then put in all the scenes that are in that act—paper clipping all of it together.

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Ta-da! My brain is organized (for now at least) . . .

It may seem like I’m stalling, but this method works great for me. I love being able to touch papers and to physically move them around, getting them in an order that works. Yes, it may change, but at least I have a start and some much needed focus.

Now off to get some writing done—finally!

 

**So…anyone else have a “weird” method they use to organize their thoughts?