When Should You Listen to Writing Feedback? Part 1
|Image courtesy of Stuart Miles|
Even if you self-publish, relying on your family's and best friends' feedback is not wise. You’ll spend a lot of money and time on what probably isn’t your best work. If you want to sell books or catch the eye of an agent, knowledgeable feedback remains a significant part of the writing and revision process.
Don’t ignore feedback because your favorite author violated the guideline proposed to you
- The established author knows the rules and when it’s acceptable to bend them.
- The referenced work is decades old. Writing guidelines, just like in any other industry, shift over time. What worked in the 1980s doesn’t necessarily fly in 2019.
- Some authors get sloppy. Maybe they’re pushed to meet a deadline or struggling to get something on the page or feel like they’ve paid their dues.
Don’t ignore feedback from someone with publishing credentials
Don’t accept “I don’t like this” feedback without an explanation
Some of us have writing biases. I can’t stand it when an author writes that someone "stepped" across the room.” I flag it every time I critique or edit someone’s work. Why? It feels like the writer tried hard not to say walked but couldn’t find a better synonym. Why not just say they walked across the room? Or use a more descriptive word such as stomped, tiptoed, shuffled, etc? Yet, despite my dislike of this verb choice, it still appears in many works. The decision falls to the writer on whether to use the feedback and my explanation or not.