Thursday, August 14, 2014


My online writing group is like a slightly wounded Energizer Bunny. We post our excerpts late, forget to give feedback on other's writing until prompted, and we've all had times where something from our personal lives takes over our author personality for a while.

But through it all, we've kept our cool sunglasses on and continued to bang that annoying drum!

Here's where I'm feeling a little out of sorts. I feel like my two fellow writers are way, way better at feedback than I am.

I start out by mentioning parts of their writing that I like, either phrases, paragraphs, or situations. I add in some wonderings about their choices as an author, as well as any direct questions I might have. And finally, I point out spots where I think they might have erred in some factual manner.

As in, "if that kid is in second grade, unless he is pretty far behind in math, he shouldn't come home excited that he can count to 100." Or, "you write that it was a gift from the King of Spain, but your story is set in 1973, and there was no king of Spain at the time, just a Generalissimo." Yes, these are paraphrases of two actual nitpicks by yours truly.

My colleagues, on the other hand, speak about the depth and motivation of my characters, details that would make my historical time period come to life, and questions that they are hoping are answered further along in the text.

Just today I received a fully color-coded, annotated, edited version of the copy that I had sent out last week. It was in windows, but with sidebars and notes. I have no idea how she even did it. It was truly impressive.

So, I pledge to continue to give feedback the best way that I know how, but to carefully read their comments and criticisms, and strive to imitate the serious and conscientious way they assess my work.

But I had better get on it, because I'm already late in commenting this week!

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