Don’t Make Me Call You Out! By Diana Flegal

The Trouble With Advice
July 19, 2016
July 25, 2016
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Don’t Make Me Call You Out! By Diana Flegal

Many writers conference attendees get discouraged, take the rejection of their present work in progress personal, and quit. They go home and nurse their wounds, and some even criticize the ‘messenger’.

The workshop teachers and the agents and editors that take appointments and teach at these conferences are not there for the money. They are there because they honestly desire to help writers become better writers. So much better that one day you might become a published author.

Wouldn’t a much better response be to examine whether there was any truth to their critique? Is there room for improvement?

If you are a nonfiction writer, are your thoughts developed in an organized manner the reader can easily take away with them?

In fiction, does your character have a journey where they grow and learn something? A good story is not just one inciting incident after another. There must be one person the reader can root for, hope they succeed in their mission, or get the girl or guy they desire.

Evil eye


Don’t make me call you out. Don’t be the one that quits when they are so close to having something worthy of publishing. Be willing to rearrange, rewrite, or practice writing a little longer.



As Toby Mac says in his song MOVE: Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on / Move, keep walkin’ until the mornin’ comes / Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on / And lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet…




  1. Rick Barry says:

    The first hurdle all writers must overcome is the hope (expectation?) that everyone will immediately ooh and ahh over their work and declare it a top-notch piece of literature. Our egos would rather receive praise (mine too), but that is rarely reality. I don’t want any critique partner simply to tell me they like my writing. I want to hear their thoughts on what would make it better!

  2. I really like your suggestion about examining the truth of the critique. I am always open to improvement and consider what agents, editors and my critque partners suggest because I want to improve my writing. However, there needs to be good reasoning behind them.

    A note I received from an agent on one of my picture books, was to shorten the word count and leave the descriptive details out for the illustrator to put in. When I did the rewrite and tweaking, the response I received was “Now doesn’t that feel good to see that you can cut down your word count.”

    Have to say that was not much help, but it hasn’t stopped me from submitting my works to others.

  3. Sharee says:

    An excellent reminder…of course, you had me at Toby Mac 🙂 But agreed, I’d rather have honest critique than fluff that keeps me unpublished.

    • Caroline Denny says:

      As a first-time author, I agree with you 100%. My book is just under 80,300 words as it sits right now. I was amazed when someone was able to re-write things I’d written, not to change them, but to make them more readable. That person took me down from nearly 80,700 words to about 80,400 words. I found a few more things to re-write. It was a real eye-opener, and it was fun.

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