Candice :  Now writing is one thing but being able to take feedback on what you’ve written is something entirely different. I have to admit, I am not the best at taking constructive criticism. My usual response is to jump to the defence of what I have done, right or not.  Phil is much better and doesn’t take things quite so personally.  However, we have had feedback from a few people over the last year and we seem to have two different types of reader:

One: who reads the book cover to cover and then gives constructive notes on the whole thing with a few pointers. They fall in to the “I liked it” group.

Two: those who read it as if they are marking a school essay, mark up every typo or grammar mistake and give it back three months later.  They are the ” I hated it but I’m not going to be that blunt.”

Now, we understand everyone is different and we all don’t like every film we see or book we read but I have to say I have taken some our feedback personally . Hey, this book is like my baby, we’ve both put alot of time and effort into it and when some one is negative I feel like saying, your child is ugly too!

However, after my last negative feedback, I really felt like throwing the towel in.  But after a pep talk from Phil I thought it was about time we sent something to a professional editor.    So I found Liz, a locally based editor also on wordpress ( and we sent off the first three chapters.  And 48 hours later back they came.

Finally I felt that we  were getting professional help that was constructive and actionable. So, Liz’s feedback spured us on in our writing chat last week.  Here is someone who said, well actually you need a better hook at the start and need to beef up your proganist, and I understand what she means.

So we are going to work on book 2 and keep Liz’s comments in mind. And when we get back to reditting book 2 we’ll send it to her for the professional opinion as well as those of friends and family, to keep things in perspective.

And hopefully with all our feedback, 2012 will be the year when someone goes, “”hang on I think this is worth pursuing.”


Filed under Candice, Writing

2 responses to “Feedback

  1. It’s true. The very modest bill was the best money spent in a long while. It made us think (see the last post) things through differently and gave our work new impetus. When we went to the Writing conference 6 months ago, the best bit was when one of the agents talked about how she develops new authors. We both sat there and thought “I want a bit of that”. This is the next best thing.

  2. Being a designer/art director all my adult life I had my work critised on a daily basis, by the creative director or the account handler or by the client. Some was positive, some not! I can understand you taking it personally as my ideas were my ideas and thus rather personal. But you have to sort out the personal ones – “My wife doesn’t like green” – from the professional ones – “Our logo’s too small”. The first one – “But cheese and onion crisps are always in green packets” – the second – “Who’s the desginer here?”. It is good that you have found a professional sub editor. Writing, like most creative pursuits, can be a tortuous path. When I am painting I welcome my wife’s comments as I can get too close to work and not see what may be wrong with it. On the other hand, I have overpainted a picture which she felt was OK but I knew that it wasn’t. This is your first book and is a pretty good first try so just keep calm and plough on!

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