Friday, September 4, 2009
Don't Jump Too Soon!
Or you may not make it over the pole. Yesterday, I talked about stepping back and studying feedback before jumping the gun and changing things. I have to admit, I'm guilty of this. I've found myself rewriting chapters before sending them to my beta readers based on their feedback from earlier chapters. I've stumbled upon a slight problem with doing this, though. I hit a chapter where I literally said, "Oh, crap! I've really messed up!" You see, the changes I had made based on their feedback caused the rest of the story not to make sense. If I had sat back and thought about it, I would have realized this sooner. Don't get me wrong; their observations were accurate and change was necessary, but I went about it all wrong. J.B. Chicoine left an interesting comment on my post on Wednesday. In case you missed it, here is what she had to say: Lately, I’ve thought a lot about the honesty in offering critique. I have swapped my MS with 2 writers (yourself being #2). With #1, we mutually agreed to hold off feedback until we are both done, and have completed our review and comments. This is under the premise that candor would come easier if we weren’t tempted to moderate our words according to what the other had to say (BTW, it was my idea). We haven’t swapped results yet, and I think we’re both nervous. On the other hand, you and I are swapping and critiquing in 3 chapter increments, and I feel much more at ease this time around. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve now done one critique or because you and I got the awkwardness out of the way right up front. I think it’s the latter. What do you think? She's right; our method of exchanging critiques every three chapters has provided for an ongoing relationship of mutual honesty, which is good. But, now, I understand her desire with her first crit partner to postpone feedback until the very end. This way prevents you from making hasty changes that don't work. I have mixed feelings about this. What are your thoughts? Which method of critiquing do you think is most effective? And, it's Friday, which means it's time for the next recipient of the Silver Shoe of Sincerity Award. This award is intended for those who show sincerity in their blog interaction. You can read about it here. This week's recipient is Terri Tiffany of Terri Tiffany Inspirational Author. She has her own great posts, but she always leaves valuable comments on my blog, as well as the blogs of many others. If you don't already follow her, go check her out. Have a great weekend!