I've been thinking a lot lately about editing, crit groups, feedback, etc. One thing I learned is to apply the feedback that improves our manuscript and steers it in the direction we want it to go.
But what if you suck at that? What if you're such a people pleaser that you want to apply everything? Even if your core is screaming, "NO!" What if that feedback is delaying you from finishing because you're afraid your manuscript will never be good enough? That it will never be ready?
I'm here to tell you one thing:
You know what your story is. You know what you wanted to convey. If you wanted your protag to be weak and weepy (without being an annoying Bella Swan type) then go ahead! If you want your story to have purple trees - who's to stop you? If you want a dog with 6 legs - why do you have to give him 4? Because your beta said so? I don't think so!
Now, if you want a weak and weepy protag but your beta says she's fun and jovial - then, ok, you ought to rethink your writing. If you wanted purple trees but your beta clearly saw yellow bushes, then you should clarify your descriptions. If your 6-legged dog is coming off as a gigantic spider then well, you've got some work to do.
But if your weepy protag is just that, and if there is no mistaking your purple trees, and your 6 legged dog is clearly having issues with walking, then I'd say one thing:
Leave the darned manuscript alone!
Please. Seriously. Don't make the same mistakes I've made.
You have to trust your gut. Trust your instinct.
If you don't, you may very well regret it.
So thank your betas and crit partners for their feedback and suggestions. Then, take what helps and ignore the rest. You won't hurt their feelings. They won't be mad. Because, in the end, it's YOUR story. Not theirs. And they know that - just as much as you do.
Oh yes, and I almost forgot!
The winner of THE IRON BODKIN is....
(insert a drum roll here)
Congrats! Please contact me at amiegr8tstuff (at) aol (dot) com with your mailing address.