The Importance of Being Earnest ~ Flattery, Feedback and Constructive Critiques

Via Flickr by Hakan Dahlstrom

 

The Importance of Being Earnest

Flattery, Feedback and Constructive Critiques

 

     A fellow writer and I were talking the other day about the important of constructive feedback. One of the things I love about blogging is that I get to put my work out there for everyone to see. This also means that I get positive and constructive feedback which every writer needs. Often writers are too involved in their own work, or your eyes are cross-eyed from the computer screen, to catch the glitches, grammatical errors or structure that just seem to slip by. It’s great to receive feedback no matter its form, especially from writers you admire. I find it helps reinforce why we spend our days writing.

     Some writers may cringe at the thought of someone critiquing or constructively commenting on their work. I’m not one of those writers. I see it as a chance to improve my writing and a means to challenge myself. After all, that’s the point right? I highly doubt even the greatest of writers wakes up and says “I can write perfectly.” Constructive feedback and criticism pushes one to grow. Of course, anything constructive needs to be, well, constructive, not destructive. 

     If you are in the same boat as me and like constructive criticism it is important to give it as well. When I first started my blog I shied away from giving it. I didn’t want to hurt anyones feelings and I was afraid I’d say the wrong thing and have a whole bunch of fellow writers upset with me. Then I started getting constructive feedback on my own blog. I was so elated. To me this meant someone was not just reading my work, but really analyzing it with the perspective of a writer. Over the past few months I have not received one constructive comment or feedback that was not earnest in its intent. Thank you! Now, when I sit down to read the weekly #fridayflash these are some things I consider:

  • Point of View
  • Dialogue
  • Pacing
  • Structure
  • Grammar

What types of elements of writing do you look at when reading other work?

Do you give constructive criticism and feedback? 

Do you like to receive constructive criticism or feedback? If so, why? If not, why? 

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. tonyl says:

    I do some ‘critiquing’ for Critters.org, and for partners I’ve collected over the past several months.

    I look at all the things you’ve bulleted above, and the only one I’d add to it is comments on the opening.

    I do try to be open and candid in my comments, in a polite way. In deference to being polite, I point out things that I feel are good as well as the others. In defense of honesty, I remind the writer that what I suggest is from only one reader, who may not have gotten the intention – that is a message in itself.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for the link!! I find myself more and more dependent on the great feedback I get from my ladies at YoungAdultFictionFanatics(or YAFF). We have combined forces to put the best product we can out there. I try and look at all aspects when critiquing: dialogue, setting, characters, plot etc. It’s so important to have someone else look over our work to catches the glitches. I admit when first starting out, I, too, worried about giving feedback to someone. But now, I realize if I’m not honest, I’m not helping them. This is not to say that I’m nasty about it, I know they have strong feelings about their writing just as I do. But for me to give them any less than the real deal just hurts both of us, and, after all, who would you rather hear it from me or an agent? Great post!!

  3. Very thoughtful post. I find that when you get a good, constructive critique, it makes your work grow and get stronger. If you go off focus, someone can gently guide you back on track.

    I am not good for line edits and most typo’s and spell errors go over my head … I love to read for the character and the context in which the character is presented to me. If I get a strong attachment and feel as though I am “in the story” … then that writer has done their job.

    I rarely, if ever, read in your genre and since I read your blog every week, Lara, my focus on not just your work, but the work of others you introduced me to has changed.

    Love the comment above. Better we deliver the bad news than an agent 🙂

  4. Leslie Rose says:

    I am lucky to have fantastic critique partners. I try to wear my reader hat first when I critique and then let the writer/editor have a go.

  5. Constructive criticism is invaluable. I welcome it. I also offer it to other writers. I owe my ‘network’ a huge debt for all their advice and suggestions -I learned so much from them.

    Another good post, Lara.

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