Any writer will tell you the terrible sense of apprehension you feel when showing a piece of work to someone else. Its a glimpse into the creative soul of a writer, as well as putting one’s skill under the scrutiny of someone else. When feedback is bad, this rips through a writer’s soft underbelly, exposing their insecurities.
Here are a few tips to consider for critique and feedback:
Be picky as to who reads your stuff. Not all readers are good at offering a good critique. Some might say “I like it” or “This sucks” but they can’t explain with anything constructive as to why they liked or disliked it. I tend to avoid having family read my stuff because they look too deeply into the characters.
Pick a reader that enjoys the genre you write in. Someone who loves romance might not appreciate a story of horror, while someone who likes murder mysteries may not enjoy fantasy. Ask first, and see what authors they like before letting them see what you got.
Ask for honesty. You may need to brace yourself if you’re a sensative soul, but remember that constructive feedback can make you a better writer. Comments on my grammar pushed me to learn and improve that aspect of my writing.
With my writer’s group, members vary to their reactions before they get feedback but in the end they agree that its necessary and helpful along their journey towards publication.