Monday, May 24, 2010

Feedback


I sent my latest work to a fellow writer for some feedback. She gave me her honest opinions, some good, some not so good. So now the question is, what do I do about it?

She didn't like the beginning, in fact made a comment that if she was reading for fun, she would have stopped already. Hmmm, I think the beginning needs more work.

However, the comment was related to the fact that she didn't like my out of sequence start. She felt it was confusing. The reason that I did it that way was so that I could get the story going with some action, I didn't have to do a huge info dump.

I read one of her stories (which was great) and she tended to set things up more linearly than I do, so I'm thinking it could be a taste thing. But what if it's not? What if the beginning really is confusing to most readers?

I'm trying to take that into account, while I try to process the rest of the comments.

The good news was that once she got to page 60, she really got into it, and couldn't put it down until she had finished it a day later. The comments at the end were that it was a great story.

So what do I do with the comments? I think I need more feedback. I have a couple of other readers that are making their way through it, but their progress has been really slow. Does that mean something? I don't know. It could be as they tell me, that they have been extremely busy. It is getting near summer after all.

So I have received some pretty good feedback, but I'm struggling a little as to what to do with it.

I'll wait for the other two readers before I make any changes, but right now feedback seems to be one of those things that is like "be careful what you wish for".

How about you? Have you ever received feedback that you didn't know what to do with?

5 comments:

  1. If the feedback isn't specific, it can be hard. For instance, I don't like the character. What!? What does that mean? What about the character don't you like?
    I don't like the beginning. Why? Too boring? The setting? The plot? Ask your readers to be specific.

    If it took until page sixty it might mean two things. First, the plot isn't exciting enough and two, she hasn't bonded with the main character yet. Are you showing and not telling? Do you add too much back story at the beginning? If yes, dump it all and paste it back in throughout the story later.

    This is my opinion only.

    CD

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  2. I agree that if the feedback isn't specific, it is hard.

    No I didn't do a big info dump at the beginning, and it definitely wasn't a tell not show. It is a few scenes that are not in chronological order, on purpose so that the action starts immediately. However, I think it might be suffering from a lack of caring by the reader. You are correct. The reader hasn't yet bonded with the character.

    I wouldn't say the plot wasn't exciting enough, but, the reader didn't care yet.

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  3. I think it’s a good idea to wait on the other two or even pass it along to a few more readers. I once received feedback from someone that they thought there were too many inner thoughts from my protagonist when she was reading a letter. Other people mentioned how they loved that part of the book. So personal taste is a big factor and it’s impossible to please everyone. In the end, I think the changes or lack of them need to feel right to the author.

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  4. I think the last commenter is right. Don't change the story unless a majority of the readers are complaining about the same thing. Even then, if you like it... try to make it better but don't lose your voice. Have you liked every part of every book you've ever read?

    CD

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  5. My beginnings have a tendency to SUCK BIG TIME. It can be a matter of too much information. or too slow... or too vague. I've had to rewrite the beginning of most of my WIPs.

    But, like everyone else said, I would also wait for at least one more opinion, because in the end--published or not--everyone won't agree with how you've written your story. We all have likes and dislikes. The bottom line is your decision.

    Do you have the confidence to pull it off? That's what you need to ask yourself. :D

    Good luck!
    ~Bethanne

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