How to Give Good Feedback for Write Turn Writing Club?
Thank you @courtneymoss for the great request. Sorry I haven't published it yet, but I wanted to also use this as a chance to tag the final list of Write Turn Writing Club members. I'm making this an open list so they can add their feedback tips too.
- •Here's what I've been up to today.Sorting through 50+(‼️) group members to break into smaller groups based on form responses. Groups announced very soon!
- •I can still add anybody to a group until 8p CST. The deets: Update: "List App Write Turn" Writing Club
- •Feedback ideas:
- •Be honest.People can see through insincerity, and it backfires, making them feel worse. You don't have to be excessively mean, of course. In fact, I'd go so far as to offer a tip that states...
- •Don't be excessively mean.Fine line between honesty and brutal honesty. You just gotta find it.
- •Note a specific line -- if it jumps out at you.Don't search for one just to have something positive to say. But if, on your first read-through, a certain phrase, sentence, verse, paragraph or even well-placed word resonates with you, make note of it when you see it. It may have been a point of pride at the time it was written; either way, it will become a point of pride at the time it's noted by another reader/writer.
- •Say if something doesn't work for you.If a certain plot direction or line loses you, feel free to say so, again with grace. Just think about how you would want to receive feedback. I assume (and hope) that you are not in this just for hugs and nods. We all want both encouragement and constructive direction from each other as new friends and peers.
- •Who else has thoughts on this?
- •In workshop classes I took in college, I always stuck to this system: start by pointing out something you like, move to the items you think need work (yes, be honest and thorough, but don't hammer your points), then finish with a positive comment. It always makes the person remember that you DID like it, but you also care enough to help improve it!Suggested by @lame
- •My favorite kind of feedback to receive are reactions from readers, not writers.As a writer, I tend to point out pretty words or great characterization or syntax or development, etc. As a reader, I point out times where I was sucked in to the story, or when I was surprised or sad or elated, or times I was confused and lost and frustrated. And while I love hearing any type of feedback, I think it's good to receive reactionary feedback on how your writing makes others feel. (This is just a personal preference of mine.)Suggested by @sesealyah
- •Also all feedback is valid so if everyone is like "OMG I love this" or "I don't get this" and you disagree with it, don't be afraid to point out a different perspective.Reading is extremely personal and it's good to hear a broad variety of feedback. Obviously if everyone agrees something isn't working then it might be best to fix it. But don't be afraid to point something out that goes against the popular opinion.Suggested by @sesealyah
- •If you're stuck for what to say, tell the writer something specific that stuck with you: a line of dialogue, a certain description, a plot twist. It's really helpful and often encouraging to hear what's landing -- and also finding out if the wrong things are carrying more weight than you'd like.Suggested by @readjulia
- •Beyond simply being responsive to others' work, ensure you can provide your reasoning for any feedback you give-- good or bad.Providing evidence is the easiest way to make your feedback (and work) more credible; therefore, reliable.Suggested by @wilmotwrites
- •Two truths and a lieExcept in this case, make it two positives and a negative. Start with something you thought the writer did well, then address something you think needs improvement with suggestions on how to improve, and finish with something you'll take away from their writing; something you liked, a line or paragraph that stuck out to you, or something that you learned that you'll try to incorporate into your own writing.Suggested by @HisDudeness
- •try to cut everything unnecessarymy main advice has already been said-- s/o to @lame -- but I'm also a huge advocate of cutting anything that feels extra. and by pointing out what seems extra, either it gets cut or the author realizes they're missing the link that point needs.Suggested by @aesthetic