Being in a writing critique group for the first time can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re prepared. Here are a few tips on giving and receiving feedback from other authors.
When someone offers you feedback, you should think “bring it on!” every time. Because either the criticism will be correct and bring to light something you haven’t seen before and you can make the manuscript better OR it will be incorrect but can show where you may have been unclear and you can double down on your intention. Most importantly, don’t take anything personally, even though you may have put a lot of yourself into your manuscript, your manuscript is not you. Don’t ever let comments discourage you, let them make you better.
- All feedback is useful–right or wrong. It either enlightens or helps you clarify.
- You want to make your manuscript as excellent as possible.
- Your manuscript is not YOU. Don’t take feedback on your manuscript personally.
When giving another author feedback, remember the “FEEDBACK SANDWICH.” Start with something you love about the manuscript. Kindly and thoughtfully present any constructive feedback. Then follow it up immediately with something else that you love. Make sure your tone and the way you present the feedback make it obvious that you want this manuscript to be amazing and that you hope for the best outcome for the author. And remember to present everything in a way that you would want the same information to be presented to you: The Golden Rule.
- Your goal is to make the other person’s manuscript better.
- Remember the Golden Rule
- Use the “Feedback Sandwich”: Positive/Constructive Criticism/Positive
- If you’re not sure what to say, you can always ask questions that may help the person improve the focus of their manuscript.
- What is the target age?
- Who do you imaging reading your story?
- What is your goal with this manuscript?