One of my critique partners started her comments with the words, “I hope you don’t think I’m being too harsh.” Harsh is good, so long as it’s not mean, and she hasn’t a mean bone in her body.* Harsh means you’ll see the error of your ways before an agent or editor does.
Her harsh words were that my mystery had lots of romance, but not enough mystery and the stakes had to be higher for the protagonists.** Boy, was she ever right. So I’m happily revising, and it’s so much fun.***
*It’s difficult for me to visualize a mean bone, or understand what’s so mean about it, but you get the point.
**I can never, never, ever remember how to spell this. Thank god for spellcheck.
***This is absolutely true. I am one of the six writers on earth who love revising