Dealing with the feedback
- Get feedback from your support group before submitting your work. These are your objective eyes.
- When three (or more) of your support group critic the same thing, it’s definitely worth looking into.
- Pay special attention to the parts where your readers got confused.
- Pay even more attention to the part where readers lost interest.
- When receiving feedback from other writers: know some of the feedback may come from a difference in style.
Obtaining the feedback
Feedback on your log-line
Find 9 solid log-lines from works by other writers. List them, hide your own log-line in the list. Do not tell your friends or family which one is yours. Ask them to rank the log-lines from best to worst.
Feedback on a scene/chapter/manuscript
Rewrite your first draft a few more times before you ask feedback. The most important things to fix before sending your work to an editor or publisher, is removing the gaping plot holes, logic gaps, redundancies and digressions. Your support group can help you find them. Pick a few people who you trust. Ask them to read a piece of your work and answer the following questions:
- What do you think will happen next?
- Who do you believe are the key players?
- What do you think the key characters want?
- What piece stands out as setup for something?
- Which parts do you think give you essential information?
- Which questions would you like the writer to answer? What are you dying to know?
- Which parts confused you?
Carroll, D. L. (1995) A manual of writer’s tricks.
Cron, L. (2012) Wired for story: the writer’s guide to using brain science to hook readers from the very first sentence.