- reading your work is like wading uphill through molasses
- just take out the dialogue and it's basically porn
- you're an editor's nightmare
- I don't think this story is working in first person
- There's nothing likable about this character
- your metaphors are over the top and absurd
# 1 & # 2 were from writing classes in college. After closer inspection, I realized that #1 was dead on - was abusing adjectives like crazy.
As for #2, I was really pissed, and the person was someone who always made nothing but snotty comments. The teacher actually had a talk with him after this particular class about being polite. Despite being angry for about a week, a talk with professor helped me to remember that everyone has different taste and opinions, and not to let one negative remark get me down. Then the same dude shared a short story with the group about masturbation. Go figure. Clearly, he and I were writing for different audiences. ;)
#3 was from a writing group I'm still a part of - and was 100% correct. I pouted for a day, and sulked a little. It was really quite depressing to hear, and then to look at a ten page line edit as proof. Then I hired an editor to help me get over this hump and get ready to query.
#4 was from a writing group I did over the summer about a short story. I disagreed, and did not change it. This was about my story EIDOS. While I still haven't found a home for it, I have received excellent feedback via rejection letters - none of which suggest changing out of first person.
#5 happened recently on the Quick Quill. I was disappointed that someone found nothing redeeming about my character. They also gave me a number of other pointers, however, and I plan to look at everything a second time when I'm ready to work on EIDOS again.
#6 was from an editor in a rejection letter from before I started keeping this blog. He gave a few examples, which I looked over in context. Most of them, I realized, were terrible. One of them I liked and kept in.
What about you guys? What's the toughest thing you've had to hear about your writing? How did you deal with?