I haven't been blogging a lot lately because I've been consumed with making some changes to GRIPPED, my latest YA. But, it seems like now is a good time to write about feedback--giving it, getting it, handling it.
When you decide to toss your masterpiece out into the Universe, feedback will come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors. You'll get it from your writing groups, readers, agents, editors, even your own mother, should you let her read it. (Most of us do.) It can be humbling. But it can also become one of the greatest gifts you ever receive and hopefully you'll be open to it.
I have found that nine times out of ten, whenever I've gotten feedback on something that I've written, it usually turns out to make my story better--sometimes overwhelmingly so. It's so hard to be objective about your own writing and the story itself that you really have to take the chance and ask for it. Seems like a no-brainer. And easier said than done, I know.
And giving feedback. Well, give feedback in the same way that you'd like to receive it--openly, honestly, objectively, clearly. Stories can be so subjective. What one may like, another may not, and you have to keep that in mind, too. But when you're asking a trusted agent or editor for feedback, keep in mind that they know the markets, they read a lot, and they have definite opinions and usually they're right.
So, don't cower from feedback. Be open to it and watch your writing and your stories grow and morph into even better stories. That's my two cents.