Feedback is an important part of the writing process, although when you receive it and from whom is equally as important. I know that for me, I don't show my writing outside of my class workshop, until I really feel like I have a handle on what my story is and how I am telling it. I am not nearly as superstitious as some writers are, or as I used to be, in that I am not afraid that talking about the writing process will hinder me in some way, but I do wait to share my thoughts on the actual content of my work until I am rock solid in it. Otherwise I put myself at the risk of well meaning people who say things like, "oh you know what would really be good...you should make her a spy, or a drug addict or this reminds me of...." and these may all be great ideas, but they might not be great ideas for the book that I am writing. They may be better for another book, or they may be the kind of book that the well meaning friend likes to read, the kind of book I may never read. And this brings me to one of my favorite mottos to live by..."consider the source." I think this is crucial for anyone and especially for artists, because art is subjective and not everyone likes the same thing. Just this week I had some great feedback on my first two chapters of my new novel and it really helped me see where I need to be more specific, where my readers felt like they got hooked and got distracted in the story. It also helped me to reinforce what kind of story my story is based on some of the suggestions. Listening to feedback in terms of what works and what doesn't in regards to logic, plotting, character and dialogue believability, and for me grammar(!) is really important. But when it comes to style, I think it is important to really know one's work, so that you can stay true to your own vision of the story.

Alas, no car chases, chemical explosions, or Harlequin love scenes in my book. But if you want to fall down the rabbit hole of family secrets...then you are in luck.


charley*star said...

Amen to that!

tiffany kimball said...

"Consider the source". So simple, so true, yet sometimes forgotten especially at times when I may feel a bit defeated. Thanks for reminding me of this powerful little motto! By the way, so can't wait to fall down that bunny hole!!!!!!

Template created by Hughes design|communications