Receiving and giving feedback

Feedback is essential for any writer. After all, most of us write to share our ideas, our stories. But feedback has to be genuine, that is your friend, your siblings, your mum or dad might not be the best person to let you know where you can tweak or improve your work.

That is why finding a critique partner who you might not have met face-to-face but through a writing group might be the best thing that ever happened to your writing. A great critique partner is one who:

  • is genuinely interested in helping you write the best story ever, and
  • is not afraid of offending you by suggesting aspects that you might need to improve upon.

However, critiquing each other does not mean being destructive or not respecting the other person. If there is something about the story you don’t like, don’t just say you don’t like it. Give a reason or a suggestion how it might be improved.

And changing your comment into a question (as in, ‘Why don’t you…, Have you considered….) is much, much better than (Change this!)

Why am I saying all this? Today I received feedback on one of my stories (Only the Weak Survive which appeared in Terra! Tara! Terror!) from Tangent Online, a review magazine for short SF/F. Feedback like this gives you the energy to persevere.

What do you think? Who have you shown your work to? What helped you most to improve your writing?

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