Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Always Seeking Feedback

Writers should always be on the search for feedback.By feedback, I'm not speaking of reviews, per se, but actual critiques of one's work. This is one way in which a writer improves his/her craft.

Sometimes reviews offer helpful critique; sometimes they're drivel. Not all reviews are created equal, regardless of what I've written in the past. Sometimes they come from unexpected corners. Take this snippet from a review at an Elftown wiki:

It's hard to tell if the main character, Aaron (yeah, same name as the author) is hallucinating the paranormal events (seeing dead bodies in the dumpster at work, thinking he sees the old man they killed lurking in all corners), or if there is something truly amiss, which is one of the things I rather like about the story. It's a horror story, but you don't really realize how horrific it is until the end.

Thanks, Ixel, whoever you are. I appreciate every reader.

Every time I tell my wife I've received a new review, she asks "Who is (insert reviewer or review publication here)?" Good question. I usually can't answer--even when a review is published at a "professional" site.

So why is it authors hang on reviewer's words? Why is it we seek feedback, and keep seeking even when we are disappointed by the quality/quantity/content?

What does this have to do with my WIP? I'm juggling how to go about landing critiques for In the Memory House before loosing it on the world. I'm wondering if I should or let readers be my guides...


Anthony Rapino said...

What the heck is elftown? :-P

As writers, even if the reviews aren't necessarily "critiques" that we can use to get better, we still enjoy knowing people are reading and getting *something* out of it.

You don't have a critique group? I haven't been getting critiques lately, but I usually would have my group workshop everything I wrote. I like that better than just "readers" because they aren't afraid to really rip into every corner. I don't always agree, but they never cease to make great comments.

Barry Napier said...

Yeah, I am a big fan of critiques. It's just a very awkward business setting out and trying to fish for a few kind souls to provide them.

Can't wait for In the Memory House, btw

Mary Rajotte said...

Sounds like it's time I resurrected the old crit group I started a few years back...I imagine the lot of us (plus a few others) would provide excellent crits to get one another thinking.