Reading As Writers:The Feedback on Feedback

Ideal_feedback_modelI’d like to say that M.E. Girard over at the WCDR’s Reading As Writers (RAW) website approached me and on bended knee pleaded, nay, begged me to write a guest post for the site. I’d also like to say that I advised her that my people would contact her people and set up a meeting.

I’d like you to believe all those things are true, but I am a writer and quite often I bend facts to suit my needs. Must be my incredibly well endowed ego that makes me say those things.

Of course it isn’t true. Truth is, the talented M.E. Girard posted on her Facebook page asking for people to pitch ideas. See? There is some truth to it. She did ask me… indirectly. So I thought, what the hell, I love to talk, I love to rant, I love writing and reading. So I pitched an idea.

I’ve struggled with the quantity and quality of the feedback I’ve received over the years for my writing. I never wanted to be one of “those” writers that sees every piece of constructive feedback as a personal attack. But I have had moments where I’ve questioned whether the person ever really read my story or upon realizing the context was something they didn’t read, just glossed over it.

I’ve also been blessed, very early on, to be the recipient of an abundance of glowing feedback. Of course I felt I didn’t deserve it.

I have thick skin. I would rather hear where someone had trouble with my writing, either by way of weak characters, sloppy dialogue, or as my sister often points out, too much description.

I have been asked, on occasion, to give my input of a piece of writing. I struggled with this. In writing classes, I felt I wasn’t offering enough technical feedback, and that I wasn’t qualified to give feedback, as I struggle with aspects of my own writing.

I finally settled on what I could offer as opposed to what I thought I should offer or what others offered. Instead of trying to pick apart spelling, punctuation or grammar, I focus on what I feel is important, can this writer tell a story. My feedback is about sections of the story I feel are ‘lumpy’ or awkward, where dialogue comes across as stilted or where descriptions or actions are confusing. I like to point out where phrases really sparkle and action pops.

So it was hard for me to write this and to keep my own personal gripes out. I think I did manage just that only not with as much of my style of sarcastic or punny humour as I would like.

Then again a word count will have that effect for time to…

Ha! Gotcha!

Pop over to the RAW website. You don’t have to be a writer to comment or to understand. In fact, I would love to hear from avid and voracious readers. After all, it’s you that I write for.

About Dale Long

Writing ambushed me from the shadows. At first I pushed it aside as nonsense, but luckily my wife and two girls saw the potential. Since then I have had an article published by Metroland, placed as runner-up and in the top ten in humour writing contests and various other contests. The icing on the cake was placing as runner-up in the WCDR's Wicked Words contest (130 entries) and having my entry published in the contests anthology of the same name. My entry was an exerpt from my upcoming novel, Echoes.
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4 Responses to Reading As Writers:The Feedback on Feedback

  1. Great post Dale! You and I have done our share of giving and getting feedback – and I can honestly say it has served me well!

    PS – Apparently, sisters are required to give that kind of “helpful” feedback. It must be in a handbook somewhere.

  2. M-E Girard says:

    I never saw this! I was doing some test searches for the RAW site coming up in Google searches and came across this post. I’m mentioned! You mentioned me, Dale! This is a nice thing to find–though I wish it hadn’t taken almost a year… 😛

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