Most of us write to connect – and one of the best ways of getting connection is through asking people for feedback. Little gremlins can put us off this though. The ‘it’s not perfect yet’ gremlin, and the ‘they might reject me personally’ gremlin tend to have extra-loud voices.
Here are some sites you can get feedback from: scribophile and a list of 39 other places thewritelife.com: find a critique partner I can’t vouch for any of these, but someone whose work I know and like is on Scribophile and found it helpful.
Apps can be useful too, but bear in mind that apps don’t buy books or commission writing. Here’s some suggestions: writing tools
Just finding one or two people who you can share you work with live, is a huge help. Judith Barrow and Thorne Moore are novelists who live locally here. Their writing feedback friendship has developed into a book fair they hold annually in the charming West Wales town of Narbeth.
But meeting other writers and readers live, means of course, you have to go OUT…
Local open mic events, creative writing groups and book clubs are all ways of finding like minded scribblers.
What if you’ve drawn up a hitlist of people you would like to get feedback from? (and I hope you have). In my experience, most people respond well to compliments, so a short explanation of why you’ve made the request could be helpful. As could quite specific questions for the feedback. Like ‘What worked do you think?’ ‘Any questions please?’ and most useful ‘Is there anything I could do differently?’
I respond best to requests for feedback that say something like ‘Please could you cast your eye over this for at most 10 minutes and say what you think of the the gist of it?’ And humour helps too: ‘ I shall be eternally, everlastingly and more deeply-than-you-can-ever-imagine in your debt’.
The sole nature of writing means it is alarmingly easy to become delusional. So feedback is vital – even if it just to prevent you spending the next five years of your life on that Hobbit tribute, which you know could be the next Game of Thrones…
May you have lovely reactions.