As writers, we are expected to be the paragons of all that is writing and editing, yes? Goodness, I hope not. Many of us have the same trouble editing another’s work as we do our own. Here is an article by Rebecca Swift about how to give good feedback, whether you are a reader or a writer, editing your own work or a friend’s. She mentions how your mood can change your feedback, how feedback is an absolute must, and more. Take a gander, tell me what you think.
Giving Good Feedback
by Rebecca Swift of The Literary Consultancy, former editor at ViragoRisking a Reader
So, you have written a piece of fiction. So far, you only have your own opinion on the work. On the one hand, you may be so delighted to have finished anything at all you think it’s brilliant and wonderful and be patting yourself on the back, even running around telling your friends you think you’re a genius.
On the other hand, if you’re a different kind of person, or indeed the same person in a different mood, you may be punishing yourself because you don’t think what you have written is quite what you hoped it would be. In fact, is it rubbish? What is it? I think that most people, when they have finished a work of writing, are not quite sure what they really think of it. You may also be worried that whatever you yourself think of your writing personally, another reader may not feel the same. Part of you may be dying to know what other people feel, and part of you is probably incredibly anxious about showing your work to anybody. What if they hate it? Will it put you off writing forever? Of course the degree to which you feel any of this will be altered by what you have written, and with what end in mind. For example, if you have written a short story for the BBC site you may feel differently than if you have spent five years on a novel. Either way, you will have had some hope for your work and it’s time to find out what will, if anything, happen to it.