Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's Tuesday Jim, But Not As You Know It: Or, How To Get Good Feedback

Well, here's a turn up. I'm posting on a Tuesday and I'm doing so from Leeds instead of my usual abode. Why? I'm working up here for a couple of weeks, although I do get to go home at weekends...if I'm good.

One of the sure things in life is that things will go wrong. You'll send an email and remember it shouldn't go to that person; you'll upgrade a computer, then remember you didn't back up your data; Someone will decide that they're too important to leave a laptop with you for upgrading and MUST go to a meeting on the pitfalls of driving with a strained neck tomorrow and take the laptop with them even thought they aren't going to use it for five days. Grrrrrrrr

Most of the time there's nothing you can do about it and you just have to learn to live with it. Sometimes you can do someting about it. The hard part is knowing the difference.

As writers, it's sometimes difficult to tell if the problem is with your writing, or your audience. Have you written a bad romance novel? Readers of romance will tell you and you can be sure that they know what they're talking about. Show that same book to people who read crime thrillers and the response will be different.

However, you can still get some decent feedback from anyone if you ask the correct questions. Asking a fantasy reader about the plot of a romcom may not give you much that is useful, but ask them about whether the character is a good one and you can get some good feedback. A fantasy reader will also be able to tell you about the world building as they are used to dealing with new and different landscapes and cultures.

In short, pick your audience well, but most importantly make an allowance for people not sharing your love of a genre...or understanding your work. They may be able to find plot holes, but may get lost when you wax lyrical over the inner thoughts of a lovestruck man.

Find the person's stengths, and ask questions accordingly.

See you Friday, by which time I'll be back home and uploading all the funny pictures I've been purloining.

1 comment:

Julie Luek said...

I think this is important. I've been asked to read sci fi or fantasy, and that's not my thing. I'm probably not the best judge of this genre.