Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.
Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.
How do you deal with negative feedback? Do you have tips for critiquing other writers’ work?
Personally, I’ve always thought that if you don’t have something positive to say, you should remain silent.
But here’s the thing, I want people to tell me what they think of my writing. As a small-time, little-known author, I’m always asking for reviews. Of course, as soon as you actively seek people’s opinions, that advice kind of goes out the window and you have to accept what you’re given.
How I deal with negative feedback depends, the term encompasses such a wide range of things. First, I decide whether it’s a bad review that’s politely and professionally written and contains valid points about faults in the content, such as plot holes, typos or formatting issues.
Or is it more of a rant, or a generalised complaint based on some sort of personal agenda?
As soon as you put anything put in the public domain, you have to be ready for any sort of reaction. It can feel like you’re baring your soul but you need to develop a thick skin. Not everyone will like everything you do, that’s a fact.
You are probably the same yourself, your preferences and opinions will not be the same as anyone else’s. You may express them differently but that’s about it.
I’m quite happy to accept negative criticism. In fact, when it’s well-structured and logical it can be helpful. If I get a lot of comments about a certain thing, it’s pretty obvious that I need to work on whatever it is. Because, at the end of the day, I’m learning all the time and anything that helps me become a better writer will always be welcome.
What is slightly less useful to me is the negativity that borders on abuse or denigration, based on someone’s personal agenda, whether it’s political or sociological.
I’m not using my writing to promote a viewpoint or highlight whatever might be the trend of the day.
Sure, those things might creep in where they’re part of the narrative; but readers need to remember that it’s a novel, not a soapbox.
Hint: I don’t necessarily believe that what my characters say or do is acceptable in today’s world. Only that it’s a part of the one I’ve created.
I ignore all the personal attacks and take notice of reasoned criticism, it’s the only way to stay positive about writing.
If I’m critiquing someone else’s work, I always try to find a positive. Because I know how much effort it takes to produce a novel, I’d hate to dismiss it for the sake of something that I didn’t personally take to. It might just be someone else’s favourite part.
Until next time.
Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.
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