Monday, January 24, 2011

The Number One Worst Answer to "How Was It?"

Okay, so, you know the feeling you get when you've just finished the first draft of  your WIP and even though you know the first draft sucks you just have to send it to your best friend to look over because well, you finished your first draft. And that is an accomplishment. You are one step closer to being there. (And a million steps away, but you try not to think about that).

And then, they've read it and said they love it because they're your best friend and then you ask, "How was it?" (or even "Did you like it?") hopefully looking for constructive critcism/feedback and they answer with a brilliant, flashy...

It. Was. Good.

I don't know about you, but I find that when I am looking for helpful, constructive criticism the phrase "It's good" is something I never want to hear.

Since I've been writing ever since I can remember, I've grown up with people reading my writing, and because they are family and/or friends, they say it's good. Yes, they mean well, but after awhile you just want to know how you can improve. Because you know that you aren't perfect, there are always ways you can improve.

One of the things that I'd most want to hear when asking, "How was it?" is the whys. Why did you like that part? Why is he your favourite character? Why did you think that shouldn't've happened? Why, why, why.

I want to know what I did right, and what I did wrong, so I can keep doing the right stuff and start fixing the wrong stuff.

All this stuff applies to constructive criticism, too. It's hard to take criticism, especially "negative" criticism, no matter how hard we try not too care, we will, even if it's only a little bit. But think: is it really negative? If it's good criticism, then it'll help you to make your work better. Is that not a good thing? (If it's bad criticism, it won't help you and then you shouldn't be taking that advice anyway.)

What's your take on constructive criticism?

**Oh, and an extra note: the beautiful Sarah Enni is giving away a copy of Across the Universe by Beth Revis. Get details here. You should also follow her.


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