Writer Woes 6.0—How to Give and Get the Best Feedback Possible #goals (Scribbler Sign-Up Deadline!)

Feedback, to a writer, is the world’s best gift.

Unless it’s like raging feedback that you can’t understand and is mean and rude and not at all helpful. In that case, GO BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF JOHN.

But usually, we writers are smart enough to choose awesome people to critique our work. So then it’s NOT a sob party where we question our existence.

BUT. How do we find those people??? How do we improve from their feedback??? And how do WE give feedback???

Well, friends, May is being HELPFUL (like she always is) and helping you out on all things feedback! Ish.

And this will also help with The Scribbler’s Challenge! (Which is a project with a sign-up deadline of TODAY.) The whole purpose is giving and getting feedback, so maybe this well help* all you Scribblers out???

*What’s a synonym for help please help.

flowers

FINDING BETAS

So to save you from me being cringy and saying “feedback-givers” or “critiquers”, I’m going to refer to betas as the main people who give feedback? Okay? Great. (Btw beta-readers are people who read and offer feedback on your draft after you’ve made a few edits on it. Just for reference.)

Finding betas is easy. Finding the RIGHT betas is hard. My wonderful friend Joce did a discussion on this, which you should definitely check out!

To find the right betas, you:

  • need to find people who will give you feedback that you want (duh???)
  • need to eat.
  • WHAT I MEAN UM FEEDBACK FOOD… FOOD FOR FEEDBACK… FOOD IS ESSENTIAL TO LIFE???
  • make sure the betas actually like the genre you write in
  • or maybe have some expertise
  • if you want people to give you grammatical feedback, find those people!
  • if you want people to give character/plot feedback, find those people too!
  • friends are also great betas
  • (actually make sure you’re friends with them so you can TRUST THEM)
  • writers are good betas because they offer feedback from a writing perspective
  • but readers are ALSO good betas because they offer feedback from a READING perspective *gasp*
  • sensitivity readers are good too, who can check facts on things you don’t have experience in
  • honestly just find someone who is willing to give you good feedback*

Image result for finger guns gif

But before all of this, you MUST BE READY TO GET FEEDBACK. If you’re not ready to receive criticism on your work, dooooon’t doooo iiiiiit. You’ll feel bad and might stop writing! O what torture has befallen us.

And never choose too many betas than you can handle. Pick a select few (maybe two to three at first), and if you feel ready, you can expand it.

OF COURSE, my word is not rule but will soon be, so you do what you want! Just beware.

*Most descriptive tip EVER. YOU’RE WELCOME.

flowers

ACCEPTING THE FEEDBACK

Once your betas read through your novel or story or whatever, it’s time for you to actually do something about it.

Meaning that you shouldn’t just stare at it in your despair and/or joy and/or a bunch of mushy feels that someone actually gave you feedback.

There are only TWO WAYS* you can accept feedback:

  • ACCEPT IT with love and care and read through all of it and obsess over it until finally one day you decide to do something about it and EDIT YOUR NOVEL with the feedback

Image result for love open arms gif

  • sneer and roll your eyes because what is this amateur feedback and throw your computer across the room because you are rage and WHY DID YOU EVER DO THIS IT SUCKS

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Just saying but the first option is much better.

But really! You ASKED for the feedback, and if you’re going to say that it’s “mean” and “attacking” and “untrue” and basically ignore it… what was the point? (Unless it really WAS mean.)

KIND AND CONSTRUCTIVE:

This whole paragraph sounds a little out of place. Maybe delete it or change it?

I feel like throughout this whole book, May was completely kind and nice and perfect.** But ALL characters have to have flaws (even the amazingness that is May) so maybe make her more complex and not perfect?

DEPENDS ON HOW YOU TAKE IT:

Delete or change this paragraph. It sounds out of place.

May needs to have more flaws, because she’s a bit too perfect and unrealistic.

MEAN AND UNCONSTRUCTIVE:

What is the purpose of this paragraph??? IT IS POINTLESS. TAKE IT OUT. Unless you can make it better but that’s doubtful.

May is waaaay too perfect. YOU NEED TO HAVE COMPLEX AND FLAWED CHARACTERS! No one is perfect, your characters included. Fix this immediately.

Of course, it all depends on how you take it, but I’d say to always keep an open mind! You can’t tell if someone is being INTENTIONALLY rude or UNINTENTIONALLY rude.

But if their comments get too much, talk to them. There’s no other way to let them know to be kinder. IT’S AWKWARD I KNOW. But if they’re not being constructive/being mean… what’s the point of having them as your beta???

But besides that, feedback. is. HARD. Getting criticized on your baby novel? Hard. Getting edit suggestions on chapters you worked so hard on? Hard. Getting told to KILL OFF YOUR PRECIOUS CHARACTERS? Not so hard. Definitely hard.

You get so excited that people are going to help you improve your novel!!! And then you read the feedback and it’s so so exhausting because you’re getting criticized (even if it’s kind!) and GETTING CRITICIZED IS DIFFICULT TO HANDLE.

But not impossible!

Image result for happy smile gif
LOOK AT THE HOPE ON HIS FACE!!!

The next step after this is using the feedback to edit your novel… but that’s pretty self-explanatory. You don’t want me to bore you to death, yeah?

(LOOK AT ME BEING KIND.)

*Actually I just thought of TWO MORE WAYS so I lie. Never trust me.
**I am not referring to any May of any kind. What are you talking about. Trust me.

flowers

GIVING ACTUALLY GOOD FEEDBACK

Not that your feedback would be anything but good haha…

*runs away*

First off, you need to find the balance between kind and constructive, and mean and unconstructive. If you look at the examples in the section above, you can really see the difference!

ALWAYS aim to be kind. You can be harsh in criticizing all sorts of aspects of the novel, but do it in a KIND way. And if the author says it’s okay to have “less fluffy kindness” and just give it to them bluntly, GREAT. STILL BE FLUFFY AND KIND.

But first, you gotta find your niche.

  • grammar and spelling! and all that conventional fun.
  • plot and character and setting because #triplethreat.
  • sentence flow and general… flow-ity
  • emotions
  • dialogue
  • writing style/voice
  • overall story
  • other niches i forgot because i’m great like that!

Often, you’ll read through the story and if you find some things, you comment on it (NICELY!!!). Then at the end it’s good to give an overall “review” of what you thought. Which is good for talking about plot and character arcs, etc.

I really can’t tell you how to give feedback??? Because everyone gives it differently. Just generally look for ways to improve the story/make it better.

YAAAAAAAY THIS USELESS POST SECTION IS OVER!!!

Image result for claps gif
Btw I’ve just started watching Friends and WHY DIDN’T I WATCH IT EARLIER???

flowers

THE SCRIBBLER’S CHALLENGE!

So you may or may not about my blog writing project called The Scribbler’s Challenge. (Lol you probably know about it because I’M SO EXCITED AHDASLKGHL;AJDSFLAS.)

But TODAYis the last day to sign up for it! It’s basically a feedback-based* challenge where you write responses to prompts and receive feedback on your writing, also giving feedback on others’ writings.

You can learn more about it HERE, which also has the link to the sign-up form.

scribbler

To those who have already signed up: Expect to see an email sent out very soon with more details! It’s required that you reply to that so that I know you are participating.

*See see it all ties in: Writer Woes about FEEDBACK, then talking about Scribbler which includes FEEDBACK. #genius


shall we chat

the pointless post is over now!!! hallelujah! but despite its pointlessness, what are your perspectives on feedback? do you think you’re good at giving it? and don’t you get annoyed when everyone’s so compliment-y but you JUST WANT HARSH FEEDBACK???

(It’s your last day to sign up for Scribbler, so do it now!)

Also, I’ve been feeling like my Writer Woes aren’t doing as good (like in helping people; not stats) and I feel like they’re not quality, so I may be taking a break from them??? Thoughts?

sign off 2.0

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131 thoughts on “Writer Woes 6.0—How to Give and Get the Best Feedback Possible #goals (Scribbler Sign-Up Deadline!)

  1. IF YOU TAKE AWAY THE WRITING WOES POSTS I WILL FEEL VERY VERY SAD FOR ABOUT THIRTY MINUTES AND HAVE TO WATCH AN EPISODE OF THE FLASH TO BE BETTER.

    ahem.

    anywhoses.

    You were a great beta-reader, by the way. 🙂 Thank you SO MUCH for doing it- I’m starting formatting today. Also my mom feels the same way you do about my comma obsession. 0.o I might need to tone down the comma-ing. (COMMAING IS NOT A WORD HELP)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. V cool post! Betas and alphas and critique partners and feedback ppl in general are awesome. (btw– when i finish Le Project, i may or may not ask you to alpha my draft???
    plz XD)

    But yeah, I love giving feedback to people. Feedback is fun! I’ve critiqued so many essays and compositions that I can’t even remember, but I think that what’s great about critiquing is that it isn’t only limited to “this doesn’t make sense” or “this is a typo” — you have to look under the surface and say, “I like this because ______” or “I don’t think this quite clicks, and that’s because _____”.

    so yeah. feedback = awesome.

    ALSO I WOULD MUCHLY LIKE TO KNOW WHO MY PARTNER IS PLS. XDD

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MAY, I’M SO EXCITED! His post was perfect, considering we will be giving post of feedback in the challenge. Another thing I’ve learned about constructive criticism is for every change you say they should make, also tell them something they did well. Like, I think you should be a little more descriptive on this scene, but I love the emotion! Anyway, I’m really excited to start!

    ~ Pip

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always love reading your posts, May. ❤ I regret that I can not leave a comment on every one because #life, but if I could, I would. I laughed and painfully agreed with every bit of this. ;D

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post May. 🙂 I’ll admit I’ve never thought much about the feedback part of writing a novel before. Obviously I guess it’s important to have someone else reading through your work because they may spot errors you’ve missed. If you’ve been writing and re-writing long enough sometimes your eyes just slide past some errors. At least that’s what I’ve found when writing essays and stuff for uni! 😀
    The whole fear of feedback if why I’ve never been brave enough to post my writing anywhere, or talk about it with to many people outside of my computer. Maybe one day though when i feel a little braver.
    Good luck for the start of the your challenge by the way. I’m sure it’ll be absolutely brilliant! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Feedback is so important in writing, but often underrated! And yes, that’s exactly it — you’ve been so used to your own story that you won’t notice errors, and betas can offer other perspectives.

      Oh yes, it’s so hard to receive feedback! I hope you’ll grow to feel more comfortable with sharing your work because I’m sure all of us would love to read it. ❤

      Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • After reading your post I’m definitely seeing why it’s so important. Obviously as long as the feedback is constructive and not mean at all.
        I hope so too, and maybe one day. Seeing other people share and talk about their writing on here is certainly helping a little. One day I think I’ll get there. 🙂
        That’s all right! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I think that if you have better content in mind that would take the place of WW then that would be fine. HOWEVER, if you enjoy writing Writer Woes then you should totally keep them o board. I get that you want useful posts and I feel this was definitely useful, but you have to get the balance in there.Stats are obviously a motivator but shouldn’t be the sole reason you start that post. Quality is definitely a big reason though. I feel if you feel that you have fun writing these posts and they are useful and good quality keep them. If you feel that you haven’t got that balance then take a break from them for a while and come back with new fresh ideas?

    Anyways, AGHH the Scribllers Challenge! With all this surprisingly, not that awkward promo (PLEASE IM LYING) I’m even more pumped! GAH HURRY UP AND START ALREADY! Anywhooo, agh feedback is hard. Like when you gave feedback on my story, I was a bit sad but also happy because my story is improved (well mostly sometimes i had no idea what i was doing) I love all your advice about feedback, it’s difficult to cope with and one of the trickiest bits about writing and something you just have to do.

    I’ve given feedback before but I just got rude looks from everyone like ‘well, yeah. it was just for fun; even though she ASKED ME TO EDIT. I ended up not editing it but ya know…I love compliments though sometimes I feel they are JUST there to make me feel good and have no meaning to it. Like ‘I LOVE IT’ I want specifics ‘ I love how you added magic so wonderfully into your story’ I prefer the latter comments better. When I ask for feedback, people are just like..Well, I LOVE ALL YOUR BLOG and my hair is all over the floor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I usually enjoy Writer Woes but now I feel like… they’re not helpful??? Stats are definitely important but not a HUGE factor in what I post — more of what people think about what I post. And THANK YOOOU. I’ve been sort of dreading writing Writer Woes posts which is SO not what I want, so I’ll probably take a break from them for a bit! ❤

      IT'S STARTING SOON-ISH. Okay so maybe like in more than two weeks but still. Gosh I'm nervous aghahghagag. And I feel you! I'm happy and sad when people give me feedback, because it's improving my work but… still. It's criticism. XD

      DUDE SAAAAME. I mean if you think my writing is great, thank you so much that makes me so happy!!! But I prefer if you either give me specific feedback on what to improve OR, like you side, specific reasons why you liked something.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This was a great post!! And thank you so much for mentioning mine 🙂 when I edit I sort of border on mean sometimes because I’m a really blunt person not good at wording things to be nice lol
    but then I ALWAYS make sure to point out all of the amazing things that they do well and gush about it just as much, if not more, than i point out the bad stuff because both are really important. If you don’t point out the good then what if they cut it out because they don’t know!! (sorry that was ranty but I was having trouble wording it)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This post is AMAZING! ❤️❤️
    I totally agree & was nodding my head all the way through! 👍
    I hate it when people get too compliment-y! I’m like, “No don’t sweet talk me & tell me nice things! I want to know what yoy really think!” 🙄🙈
    Tbh I’m not exactly the best at giving advice, but I always try to be meaningful & sweet at the same time (which can be sometimes hard – just saying) 😊😂
    I DETEST harsh feedback – it’s the worst! It’s just so plain mean & it hurts people’s feelings! Rude, right? 😕
    Anyway, THANKS for writing this because it’s so freakin’ true & important! 😍😍😍
    Be sure to come to me if you want any genuine & supportive feedback on your writing! I’d be more than happy to help! 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yeah, I mean I appreciate people’s compliments but I need some feedback on how to improve yeah? It’s a hard balance between that!

      Yes! You have to be really meaningful but also kind — which is SUPER hard!

      Aw, thanks so much, Smiling Dreamer! I sure will. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m trying to get better with providing feedback and I’ve proofread some chapters from other writers and loved doing it so I’m definitely going to do it more! Thanks for all these tips!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Awesome post May! I SADLY UGH cannot participate in the challenge due to vacationing and events later in the summer but you should definitely do another one in the fall (mostly because I want to do it LOL)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. LOVED THIS POST!! Glad you posted it because I’m struggling and I really need to ask you WHERE IN THE WORLD can I find beta readers that I trust and know will give me good feedback that can actually help? I mean I don’t want to ask any of my friends because I know that they CAN’T CRITICIZE AND THEY WILL JUST SUGER COAT IT AND GET ALL COMPLIMENT-Y LIKE YOU SAID!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. WELL. I’m drinking way too much juice? Like we bought five cartons yesterday (they were on sale okay) and me and my two siblings have drank through two already.

    Yep I’m probably on a sugar high.

    Anyways. I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED FOR THE SCRIBBLERS PROJECT OKAY AGHAKBAKXKWWO

    And I don’t know about your Writers Woes. I mean I LOVE ALL OF YOUR POSTS OKAY but it’s your choice in the end?? If you want you could do them less frequently??

    Or maybe start a new post series, if you want?

    WHO IS JOHN

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Feedback is so hard for me to accept 😥 I always feel like I’m being personally insulted whenever people critique my work!! I think it’s because I almost never share my personal feelings, and since I put so much of my emotional self into my writing it feels like they’re criticizing *me!* That’s definitely something i need to work on if i ever want to publish.
    Great post idea!!
    Oh, and I signed up for the Scribbler project. It sounds like it will be super fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, exactly! We put so much hard work into our writing and to get criticized on it definitely feels like getting criticized about OURSELVES. And agh if you ever want to publish I’d buy your book in a heartbeat. ❤ (Tho please don't be historical fiction. 😂)

      Agh, thank you! It makes me so happy to see all these people wanting to sign up. 😊

      Like

  14. Writing Woes is AMAZING. I may not comment on all, but I definitely enjoy reading all and am happy when you post them.
    Also, FEEDBACK IS HORROR.
    My work is my baby, you can criticize it like it’s some baby’s mushy chubby cute face.
    Even when people are giving me constructive criticism, I still sit there twitching my eyes because like- they gave me criticism…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve never really tried giving ‘official’ feedback. I have quite a lot of writing experience, but only in certain genres, styles, etc. I don’t know how I’d be at giving feedback you someone who writes completely differently. I personally might not like it, even if it’s AMAZING. I guess it’s all about learning what EXCEPTIONAL writing is and being able to recognise it whatever genre it’s disguised in.

    I am SO SO SO SO EXCITED about the Scribblers Project. Did you get my email about mine? I recently sent one about an update on your progress?

    Awesome post,May!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love good feedback. I have difficulty finding people who give good feedback, though, because yeessss when they are too complimentary it doesn’t help! If they think it’s all “great”, there’s nothing to fix! Course, it’s encouraging (*cough* very encouraging) to know someone thinks your writing is great, but it can ALWAYS be taken to another level and that’s your goal when asking for feedback, right? Constructive criticism is absolutely necessary.
    As for myself, I like to think I can give pretty good feedback… I LOVE critiquing my friends’ work, because I know how valuable it is to have feedback from someone with a fresher perspective on your work. I’m especially looking forward to the Scribbler’s Challenge because I have so much fun giving feedback and this will provide ample opportunity! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. MAY YES WHY DIDN’T YOU WATCH FRIENDS SOONER?!!! Come here so we can fangirl about it all day long, it is the best tv show of ALL TIMES and I am so proud of you. ❤ ❤
    I really love love love your writing posts. I haven't let anyone read my writing yet because I am way too nervous about it. But someday I will ask for feedback and show a couple of my sentences to someone and hope to get constructive feedback to be better because I want to be better ahah. But I'm nervouuuuuuuuuuuuuus.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Loved the post May!!! I’ve missed your sense of humor :). FEED BACK IS A NECESSITY. I suck at giving feedback because I suck at writing but I am excelling at being the one to receive it. (Also your watching friends?! YESS I love that show, what season are you on?) OMG SAME I HATE WHEN PEOPLE CONSTANTLY COMPLIMENT ME FOR MY WRITING INSTEAD OF CRITICIZE (though I can’t relate because I don;t know how to write so no one has anything to ever say something nice about. IDK What you are saying because I personally enjoyed, related, and found great use of this post. Feedback I think is something every writer uses and it just kind of helps everyone grow into a stronger community and stronger writers (also thank you for usually being my feedback giver). But May please take as many breaks as you want from anything because you always work super hard so if writing woes aren’t working for you, don’t push yourself too hard.

    Also, at this point I kind of hate myself, because I’m literally one day too late to sign up for the scribbler challenge :((((( (good job violet) eyyy I’m super happy for you though and it seems really cool. Also HAPPY 700

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hiya May! Apologies in advance! I just realised that Gmail deleted your name off of my mailing list for the project, so you haven’t been getting any of the emails/updates. I’m so sorry. I feel really bad. I’ve resent them all to you. Have you actually done any collaborating with Charis and Abby yet?

    Thanks,
    Gracie

    Liked by 1 person

  20. This was so very helpful! I’m always nervous while giving feedback because I feel like the other person is going to take it badly and that would be awkward. Buuuuut – I’ve come to terms with the fact that if they asked for the feedback, it’s up to them to take it nicely. If they choose to ignore it, their loss!
    And asdfghjjkklskj I’M SO EXCITED FOR THE SCRIBBLER’S CHALLENGE. I JUST CAN’T WAIT!!
    Also also you’re watching Friends?? I *love* that show!!! AHHH!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I love that the perfect character in your example is called May. May is such a nice name. What inspired you to name the character that?

    Also your Scribbler’s Challenge sounds like fun! Shame that I’m only finding out about it now, but maybe next time in case you’ll do something similar 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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