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.