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The Importance of Feedback

So over at Flogging the Quill [1], Ray has fiendishly come up with another way to improve your fiction writing.  He’s devised the Flogometer [2] (TM), a forum where he posts the first two pages of your project.  Part one, he rips your hook apart.  Part two, he asks himself if he’s compelled to turn the page and read further. 

Sounds fun, no?

No.  But that’s what an editor or agent will do to your submission anyway.  Ray’s just preparing you for the meat grinder.  But do you want to play?

Initially, I did not.  I’ve been through the meat grinder more times than I can count on all my digits plus my cat’s.  But a writer can’t afford to ignore feedback, however painful, and especially if it’s coming from someone who actually knows what they’re doing. 

I submitted the first two pages of a WIP for the Flogometer.  Yikes!  Why did I open myself up to the public flogging?

Because I think it’s important not only to be receptive to disinterested, professional feedback, but to share it with others.  Blogging is a particularly good forum to do so.  I’ve learned from the samples [3] Ray’s already posted (Crap! I have an adverb in my submission.  Be gentle, Ray), and it’s fun to offer suggestions for improvement.  Ray’s a stickler for respectful, meaningful feedback, so no one’s going to become a punching bag for venomous, cruddy insights like “this writing sucks.”

My submission is #7 on the hit parade.  If you do mosey over to Flogging, be aware that  you’ll be reading hardcore editing advice.  I’ll post my reactions to my Flogometer experience next week.

Happy writing, all.

About Kathleen Bolton [4]

Kathleen Bolton is co-founder of Writer Unboxed. She writes under a variety of pseudonyms, including Ani Bolton [5]. She has written two novels as Cassidy Calloway [6]: Confessions of a First Daughter, and Secrets of a First Daughter--both books in a YA series about the misadventures of the U.S. President's teen-aged daughter, published by HarperCollins, and Tamara Blake, for the novel Slumber [7].