- New Marketing Your Fiction Class will begin in early Sept. Register now. Contact me for more information.
- Greyhaus is BEGGING for Hot and Steamy Contemporary Romances for the Mills and Boon Modern Heat Line. Check out the link from Aug. 19th here on the blog for more information.
- Category Romance Challenge begins Oct. 1. Make sure to check out the details.
For many, writers, getting feedback on a story is often painful. You have put your blood, sweat and tears into those characters and you certainly don't want someone coming in and telling you it doesn't work. But you know something. Sometimes it is important for someone to tell you the story really isn't where it needs to be. You need that critic. Sure, we want the positive stuff, but hey, if the story is bad, tell us.
The question is, when do you want to hear it.
My recommendation? As early as possible.
Now this goes for everyone. For writers with critique partners, writers with agents and yes, even you editors out there. For all of these people. Save yourself and save your writers the pain and misery and start that communication early to get the feedback.
As you begin the process of writing and start thinking about story ideas, get the idea to Person #2 ASAP (From now on Person #2 is the CP, Agent, or Editor). Don't get too far into the process of a project that is destined to fail from the beginning. If the story is bad, then make sure to stop before you start fighting through the process.
With all of my writing classes, I always work with participants early on with the proposals. They come to me with the ideas and I give them a thumbs up or thumbs down. This is not to train them all to write one way, but to save them the misery of writing something that will simply never work due to market trends, time constraints or even writing ability.
Then after that step is over, get writing, but get some feedback early on in the story. I always recommend getting feedback in the first 3-5 chapters (roughly 100 pages). Most of the mistakes an author is going to make happen in those first pages. The set up of the characters, the approach the author took with the voice and so forth all happen here. Fix it before it is too far into the process.
I would recommend from that point on to get feedback every now and then in the writing. Again, get that feedback from all of the interested parties. After the first three, it may be harder to get feedback from the editor, but the agent and critique partners should be there for you (I would hope). If your editor can't read the work, at least keep them aprised as to your progress. Ask questions and certainly keep them in the loop. If you do have a concern, check with your editor (or have your agent ask if you have one) so that the problem can be fixed before it is too late.
Feedback is not bad. Sure, there are times when it is a tough pill to swallow, but hey, it will be worth it.