Daily Archives: September 29, 2011
Every Wednesday I’ll be sharing some hints and tips about how to improve your writing. These are basic things I have learned over the years, from writers websites, published authors and constructive feedback from friends, family and online pals. criticism
There is an argument that fiction writing cannot be taught because it comes from talent alone, it is in your nature to be creative. Whilst there is some truth in that, even the most creative person needs to learn how to use their ability and make the best of their craft.
This week: Criticism can be good!
This weeks topic is about how you cope with criticism about your writing. We’re all critics from the day we’re born but accepting criticism isn’t always easy. How we deal with it depends on various factors from emotional state and stresses to hopes and expectations. It’s easy to be dismayed when reading what you think is a bad review or negative feedback, but it’s worth remembering that not all criticism is bad. When you ask for feedback you are opening yourself up to the real world, one that has largely been ignored because until that point it was just you and your imagination.
We’re all critics.
When you wake up and stare out of the window you make a judgement on the weather. If it’s hot and sunny you critique the few stray clouds on the horizon that may ruin the perfect day. Whilst chowing on breakfast you are critiquing the bread, coffee, cereal etc. Just because you bought the food doesn’t mean you can’t evaluate it. Maybe the coffee is too bitter or the bread a bit bland, either way you are offering feedback, unheard or unshared it doesn’t matter.
We make judgements and criticisms all the time, every facet of out lives is based on these two things. If you think about it they are fundamental in our survival mechanics and allow us to make decisions. When it comes to providing constructive criticism sometimes we fall short of the mark. It’s one thing to criticise a friend’s choice of car or hair style but another to give unbiased and honest feedback on something that really matters, like the story you have been working on.
When asking for feedback/review/criticism you are looking for a list of things:
- Unbiased opinion.
- Constructive comments.
- A balance between the good and the bad.
Let’s take a look at an example of criticism and its different formats.