Do You Want A Side Of Fries With That Feedback?

We all crave feedback, right? I guess I sometimes find myself questioning the purpose of writing a story. I mean, just who is it that we’re aiming to please? Is it ourselves? Our friends and family? Our target audience? The world at large? Maybe it’s an amalgamation of all those things, or maybe it’s just an innate desire to want to spread something that you’ve created with no real thought for reward or consequence. One thing I know is this: I really care what people think about my writing. I care probably more than I care what they think about anything else.

So that’s where the dreaded feedback comes into play. I recently posted a short story on the internet, for which I received some very helpful feedback (thank you to my readers for the majority of it!) Now, let me just admit something here: I don’t take criticism well and I know it. Even constructive criticism cuts me like a knife, but I think that comes from my obsession over what people think about me. When I first got that feedback I felt like a massive failure, but then I snapped out of it and pulled myself together and took another look at the feedback I’d got.

The thing is, it wasn’t bad whatsoever. There were pointers about how to help perfect what I’d written, but the general feedback was that it was a good solid story with some writing that could use a couple of tweaks. I get that, and not only can I accept it, but I’m truly thankful for it. Now this wasn’t an exercise to try and make Another Case an astonishing short story, but more of a thermometer in the proverbial butt of my collective readers to see what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong – and you know what? It worked.

Before the feedback for Another Case I was going into my editing of Haunt and only removing the occasional word or restructuring the odd sentence/paragraph. Now I’m really editing the story. I am looking at my tendency to be verbose and my habit of telling the reader rather than showing them. I feel like I’m making some good progress. Well, not tonight – tonight I just sat in front of the book for about twenty minutes without doing anything and then ended up making stupid videos on my phone.

Anyway, this is just another of my pointless rants, which I guess in essence does have a point to it. Don’t let feedback hinder the progress of your editing process, but enhance it. Oh God I’m tired. I’m going to bed.

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13 comments on “Do You Want A Side Of Fries With That Feedback?

  1. Here’s some feedback: THANK YOU for writing. Never stop. =)

  2. Here’s something I need to work on… Accepting criticism. I take criticism personally and to heart too often. :(

    • kylewotton says:

      I definitely know what that’s like. I think we’ve got to let go of that though because otherwise when we’ve made it and proper critics are looking at our work we’ll let it tear us down. You’ve got to keep that positivity and self-belief!

  3. dawnhosking says:

    Good luck with the editing ;)

  4. MissTiffany says:

    Self-doubt is something I think all writers and artists struggle with…it’s just part of the process. But when you’ve got great, dedicated readers who are willing to give good, honest feedback (let’s face it, we all write some things that just don’t work – and we need someone to tell us. We also need someone to tell us what we wrote is good, because we just can’ believe it.) Good luck working on Haunt. The editing process is the hardest part, I think.

  5. Yes, focusing on the positive is not always easy. Sometimes I want to slap positivity in the face, but as you mentioned, don’t let it hinder, let it enhance. I am currently working on my first novel and I have no idea what I have just gotten myself into :-) Good luck with Haunt.

  6. Nice article. I’m a writer, but have a masochistic love of editing. A few times lately I’ve asked writers of self-published titles if they want feedback and advice, and when they say yes, I’ve given it… and never heard back from them. I always give the feedback with a lot of love, because I’ve been in that same place of facing a manuscript full of corrections. I know it’s not me being too hard on people… but at the same time, I hope I haven’t crushed any hearts. There is only so much padding we can put on criticism if it is to be honest and useful.

    Hey! And take heart. I haven’t R&R’d any of your work (and by the sounds of it, you’re doing enough editing yourself), but from a reader’s perspective, unless the work is basically good and salvageable, then I don’t review it. There’s no use providing advice for My Immortal.

    • kylewotton says:

      Thank you for the comment. I think my relationship with constructive criticism is a rocky one: I want it, but it almost always leaves me feeling like a failure in some way. I think the key is to be able to battle through it and always strive to better yourself. A good critique is just another stepping stone towards success, even if it is hard-hitting. Thanks for reading! :)

  7. Harliqueen says:

    I can really relate to this post. It’s very well written as well. I am trying not to edit my stuff that I put on my blog, because if I did it would never get posted! :) But I try to take any criticism and think of it when I write my next piece.

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