richard harland's writing tips

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Good Writing Habits
 

Other Good Writing Habits Topics

 

1. Preparation

2.Writing Through


 

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3. Feedback & Revision

 

(ii) FEEDBACK FROM ORDINARY READERS

 

Different types of reader give different types of feedback, all useful if you know how to interpret and make the most of them.

aileenOrdinary readers with no connection to the writing business are the basic touchstone. Better if they’re not friends who’ll want to like your book even before reading it, and who’ll probably pull their punches after reading it. Ordinary readers with no connection to the writing business or yourself are the audience you’re ultimately trying to reach.

From ordinary readers who aren’t friends, you can expect genuine responses, but usually not very articulate ones. Ordinary readers may feel negative about a particular scene or character without knowing exactly why. They may not even recognize a source of dissatisfaction until you start probing them about it.

So, yes, you do need to probe. As soon as a query surfaces with one reader, you need to check it out with every reader. Ditto your own queries. Wherever there’s a problem, try to dig down to the root of it.

Above all, don’t try to prove yourself right. A reader may have failed to absorb or understand something that’s there in your words, but the failure may be significant in itself. Maybe you weren’t clear enough, maybe you did something contradictory elsewhere. A misunderstanding that occurs once is a problem for the reader; a misunderstanding that occurs more than once is a problem for the writer.

 

OTHER FEEDBACK & REVISION TOPICS

 

(i) YOUR READERS ARE YOUR NOVEL

(iii) FEEDBACK FROM OTHER WRITERS

(iv) FEEDBACK FROM EDITORS

(v) RE-PRIORITISING

(vi) TAKE CHANGES ON BOARD

(vii) REVISION THAT ESCALATES

(viii) KILLING YOUR DARLINGS

(ix) AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT

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Copyright note: all material on this website is (c) Richard Harland, 2009-10
 
 
Copyright note: all written material on this website is copyright
1997 - 2010 Richard Harland.