Thursday, September 27, 2012
Getting Professional Feedback on Your Writing
I'm often asked by other writers to give such feedback. I really wish I had time to do this, but between writing my own books and promoting them, and occasionally teaching classes, I simply don't have a moment to spare.
Having said that, one of the best ways I know to do this is to post your work on websites that are set up for authors to get feedback from other readers and other authors, such as Worthy of Publishing, Wattpad and Inkitt.com. One method I recommend is to only publish part of your story at first, ending it on a cliffhanger, and then seeing if people ask for more. That is a sure sign that your writing is engaging. Similarly, if no one asks for more, that's a sure sign that it's not. In the latter case you have to try to find out why and modify, edit, improve your work until people do ask for more when they're interrupted in the middle. Very few writers are "born" cranking out fantastic stories from the start--most of us have to spend quite a long time, usually years, to master the skills to a point where we're good enough to write salable material.
Of course, I'm always happy to answer quick questions on the subject of writing, so please don't be shy about asking. I have a lot of advice for writers posted on this blog.
One word of caution: I have found that it's best to try and get feedback from ordinary readers, rather than readers who are also writers. This is because writers always view the work of others through their own stylistic lens and judge it against what is "good" according to their standards, which is highly subjective. For more on this topic, see my post called Developing Your Artistic Style.