Providing Feedback

5 Feb

Every now and then I find someone who wants to read my novels to provide a review or feedback. I love people like that because it makes my novels better in the end. However, every time I email out my novels I have that sense of trepidation. That fear of failure. Will they hate it? Will they rip my writing apart? OMG, what do I do if they do?

And every now and then I read a novel for someone else. I’ve been lucky 4 out of 5 times and they have been lovely experiences. You know who you are – thank you for your wonderful worlds you let me see first. I love seeing other author’s styles. To see how they get dialogue just right and so believable. Sometimes I wish I could write like those people.

Writing is an art. It takes a certain level of talent. My daughter can paint the most wonderful scenes, for example. Me? I have no talent for paint and canvass. Nope. So I stay away from painting and admire the work of others.

Some authors are like me trying to paint. The intent is there, but the final execution misses the mark. 1 out of 5 novels I read makes me feel very sad inside. I dread providing feedback to authors whose writing is just not very good. “Good” to MY standard, mind you. It is all so subjective, isn’t it? But, I have to write a reply to these people and try to explain why I didn’t like their novel. It leaves me drained and emotionally in turmoil. I am far too empathetic. I put myself in the other person’s shoes and I HATE myself for the words I say. I believe in honesty and so I deliver it as best as I can and try to remove the sting. I don’t always manage to do that right. But always I don’t want the person to stop writing. Least of all, because of my comments. I couldn’t bear that.

If I have given someone negative feedback, I know you probably hate me. I hate me too when I have to be brutally honest. Sorry. But please keep writing.