As writers we are constantly second guessing our writing. Is it descriptive enough without too much exposition? Is that character’s personality clear? Does my action scene work? Are my character’s developing? There are many and varied queries as we write. To enable us to grow as writers, we need constructive critique from people we trust.
Here is a list of who you should ask:
Experienced editors and writers.
2. A writer in your niche.
3. Someone who has read your work before.
4. Your writing group.
When asking for feedback be specific in what you are asking, rather than say “let me know what you think.”
Here are a couple of examples of questions to ask:
Do you get a clear idea of the genre?
Can you relate to the characters?
Do you understand their motivations?
Does it have a good beginning/ending?
With specific scenes name it and then ask a question in relation to it.
Does the story flow?
Were the characters reactions to situations believable?
Was the story predicable?
What surprised you?
Which part was your favorite?
Remember feedback should be taken as constructive critique. You may not agree on their viewpoint, but use it to see your work in a different light/perspective. It is your work and you tell it the way you want.
Thank you to everyone who has joined in this month’s conversation on genre. We have indeed covered all aspects of genre from writing it to marketing it.
Today’s question is: How much of your ‘personality should you put into your narrative? In other words do you, or should you, utilize family memories, personal history or ‘local’ knowledge to create a realistic tale?
Some genres may not readily seem to avail themselves to personal input but even sci-fi or fantasy has interactions where you need to think what reaction a character would have in that situation.
I am excited to read your thoughts on this question. Please click on the post headings & then scroll to the comment section.
Last week’s responses:
biancarowena As a ‘pantser’ I tent to write whatever I feel and see in my mind’s eye, then edit later. This makes for a lot of editing, as compared to planners. I know how time consuming reconstructing a story can be. So I’d personally recommend knowing your genre before writing the story, and sticking to it. Publishers what to know how to categorize your story. It’s not to limit you but to help them know who your target audience is. They know which genre is in demand and are looking for specific things. If your genre is too vague or you don’t stick to one then your book is less marketable, in a publisher’s view. I think for the sake of not having to rewrite your entire story (if your genre is not clear or shifts), it’s best to know your genre before delving in, and sticking to it.
When I was writing my book I was calling it historical fiction as it was based on a true story but with some fictionalizing. When it was accepted for publication, my publisher changed it to non-fiction, based on a true story. What happens with that in bookstores (not the independents), is that the book is shelved with research, resource, history and since my name begins with W it is on the bottom shelf near the floor and is crowded out by the other larger resource books. Browsers never see it, and anyone looking for it has a difficult time finding it. The next time I write a book I am using my maiden name that begins with M.
I tend to follow formula and am happy doing so. However, if well written, the unexpected can work well. But if not handled with care, can be a book you want to toss into a wall.
There is no author interview this Friday, however I have a fantastic list already of writers & authors who have signed up! This is a wonderful way to get to know a plethora of authors.
Lisa de Nikolits
Jeannie JB Richards
Lorna Schultz Nicholson
Linda J Pedley
Phyllis H Moore
Obviously I am more than happy with the response but please feel free to contact me via the contact form if you would like to be included during 2018 or know an author/writer who would like to participate! There are a lot of Friday’s to fill.
I have been tagged by Eva Blaskovic at https://evablaskovic.com/ to play along with this Q&A, so here goes.
Rules: Thank the blogger who nominated you. Thanks Eva (I think!)
Answer the questions you were given by that blogger.
Nominate 10 bloggers, give them 10 new questions, and let them know they’ve been tagged.
The questions I received were:
Country or city? Most certainly country – I like my space, the sound, smells and sights of the great outdoors. I grew up in the English countryside and find cities too noisy and crowded to stay very long.
For writing: silence, music, or other? Depends on my mood – sometimes silence, other times classical music, however once absorbed in my words everything around me disappears.
What/where is your favorite writing retreat? A difficult question as I have quite a few – Strawberry Creek Lodge, anywhere I holed-up on road trips, my local library or coffeehouse or even when alone in my house for several hours.
What do you consider to be the most meaningful book to you and why? Another difficult question as different books meant different things to me as I grew. I loved Stig of the Dump by Clive King as a child, the idea of befriending a caveman appealed to me. Ferney by James Long is a book I re-read over and over, it is beautifully written and I love reincarnation theme, it is a subject I researched in depth when nursing and again when writing my novel, The Twesome Loop.
Can you write in a language other than English? If so, what is it? Nope – English is it for me! If I thought I could do it I would love to learn Italian.
Would you like to live in the past, present, or future? If past, what is your favorite time period in history and what do you like about it? If you are asking for the ‘romantic’ view of past eras then porobably Elizabethan England, however if you mean to go back as it actually was then 1950’s. The reality of the 15th century with poverty, short life spans and dreadful mortality it is less appealing. For the 1950’s I could enjoy the music, dance and experience the cusp of the sixties movement.
Spring, summer, fall, or winter? Can I say I love more than one? The sudden greenness of spring after winter brings me joy. The possibilities of road trips in the summer and fall are exciting and a chance to discover new places.
What is your dream goal or dream job, if you’re not already doing it? A multifaceted goal – to write for a living travelling the world for inspiration and publishing novels reflecting the places I stay in.
Have you ever wanted to do anything “out there” like skydiving, spelunking, deep sea diving, or visiting Antarctica? I would love to skydive, go in a hot air balloon, swim the Great Barrier Reef, walk the Great Wall of China, visit Victoria Falls (the place of my birth) and live in Rome.
Would you go to the moon or to Mars? To be honest neither – there is so much to explore in the beauty of our planet.
I found this award over at: http://suddenlytheyalldied.com/2015/03/18/award-season-continues-again/
As I love conversing and sharing with other writers, I have taken up the challenge.
What makes you dance? The completion of a manuscript, the first sight of the new book cover and any music with a great drum beat.
What is your favorite genre? Don’t really have one… I read multiple genres and write them as well. I favorite Stephen King, Kate Morton, Felix de Palma, Maeve Binchey and James Long. So you see a broad spectrum.
If you could have lunch with one of the captains from Star Trek or one of the characters from Star Wars, who would you choose and why? My husband watches these shows…not really my cup of tea. Although, I am drawn to the strong female characters. B’Elanna and Seven of Nine are great levers of those around them and do not concede quickly. As for my choice of Star Trek captains, I think I would choose Captain Kathryn Janeway – she stands her ground but her decisions are emotion and instinct based, which is her strength.
Which five books would you take with you to a desert island? Ferney by James Long, Under the Dome & The Stand by Stephen King, The Lilac Bus by Maeve Binchey, Thrush Green by Miss. Read.
Why did you start blogging? I was encouraged to begin blogging by my publisher and members of my writing group to highlight my passion for writing and to connect with other writers and promote my novels. I enjoy the community and interaction of my blog and set a schedule and theme/topic for the year prior to New Year’s day each year. One year I utilized a desk diary word of the day and created posts every day using the day’s word. It was a lot of work but was thrilling to see where my mind went to create each post.
Do please link back here if you take this award – I’d love to read all your answers! Or if you don’t want to take the award, then answer some of the questions in the comments below. Let’s get to know each other!
I would like to extend the invitation to my followers and these are the questions I have set.
1. If you could become a character from a novel, who would you be and why?
2. Given the opportunity where in the world would you live and why?
3. What was the first song (record, CD) you bought?
4. Which movie(s) do you wish had not been made from a book(s) and why?