Friday, 18 April 2008

Whatever works

I've been around a fair bit this week because I've been on holiday from the day job. It has given me the opportunity to get on with a couple of small projects and one big one. I've just finished the first edit of that big project and I started to think. I have read in lots of places that some writers let "trusted" friends and family read their work and give them feedback. I must confess that is something that I've never done. No-one gets to sdee what I have written until the editor of my chosen market sees it. I don't know if this is the right thing to do but it's what I do. There is no right and wrong in this game. It's whatever works for you. Then I started to think about who I could trust to give me an honest opinion and I couldn't think of anybody. Maybe that says more about me and my friends than I care to think about.


Kerry said...

Just to put your mind at rest, I don't let my close friends read my work either. Pretty much for the rasons you've hinted at in your post - it's hard to trust them with something so important to me that I'm not sure they'd respect. I'd trust them with my life but not to be gentle with my words!

My partner reads my writing because she has always been supportive and I absolutely, absolutely respect her opinion.

What I also have is two writer friends - one a friend from university who is now studying an MA in Creative Writing and the other who I met online in a creative community who's work I think is amazing. We have a email crit group. We send of our work as attachments and they come back with notes. It has been so so helpful so far. The best thing is they are writers - so understand to be gentle but honest AND that they are trusted but not too close so lots of other "issues" don't arise when it should all be about the writing.

Sorry this is longer than your post! If you would like to your more than welcome to join the group :)

Gonna be a writer said...

Sounds ideal:)

Anonymous said...

I tend to use my friends and family for reading my works. I have no problem with this as I'm confident that I can use or ignore their feedback as I see fit. Doesn't mean I'm right and they're wrong, of course.

This is probably as a result of my experiences in the software development world, where all testing is deemed to be worthwhile testing. It's how you use the results that determine what is good testing and what improves the product.

I'd also suggest that it's really important to have a mixture of readers who are writers and readers who are non-writers, in order to get a balanced view. After all, most bookshop customers are not writers.

There are a small group of us who've started posting snippets and providing feedback on each other's work. Pop over to Cloud Line to have a look. No obligation.

Creative A said...

Hey :)

This topic is something I'm opinionated about...but I think it boils down to what you're looking to receive from your friends/family/whoever. If I wanted an extensive line edit, I wouldn't ask my mom. I'd ask my English teacher friend. But, conversely, I wouldn't ask my English teacher for praise&back rubs. I'd ask my mom.

The danger in having people read your unfinished work is that you may be expecting one thing from them, and if you get another, it might choke you. But if you tell people what you're looking for they'll usually respond that way.


Gonna be a writer said...

I think my problem is that I am quite private about my writing. In fact not many people know that do it. I'll pop over to cloud nine later though.