There are times when I can plainly see what is wrong with my manuscripts. Maybe the words don't flow smoothly, or the characters stumble along not knowing where their path might lead them. But a short revision and things are quickly back on track. Then there are times when my blinders are on and no matter how hard I try, I still can't manage to see the pink elephant standing right in front of me.
You know the one...that big, cotton-candy pachyderm who storms his way through your story...pushing here and shoving there until your manuscript flounders to a stop. If we, as writers, refuse to acknowledge when our words have gone astray, how can we ever hope to set things right? Pride should not be the shield we hide behind, but rather that pride in our work should drive us to perfect those words, even if that means turning to others for help.
Critique groups, freelance editorial services, and workshops all offer ways to fine tune the craft of writing. The fact we write...and write every day...improves our stories with each polish but a single, individual look can still run the risk of not seeing the obvious. That is why I like forums like Julie Hedlund's 12 X 12 (http://www.juliehedlund.com/registration-for-2013) where I can post portions of my stories for review.
Authors and established writers have a chance to critique my work on Julie's forum while supporting my right to write. Together we go in search of those pink elephants and banish them to other realms where they are more welcome. Then all that is left is a strong story and just the memory of those pesky pink intruders trying to sneak into my stories in disguise...