Monday, October 13, 2014

Conflicting Feedback

Last week, I talked about responding to negative feedback, but now I want to talk about when you get conflicting feedback.

My first 250 words and query were posted on a few different websites for critique and feedback. Let me stress: I appreciate every comment, and all of it helped me. I am very grateful for the comments I've gotten, because they helped me get to where I am now. But that doesn't mean it was any less frustrating to try to figure out what to do.

Here is real feedback I'd got on variations of my first page:
  1. Too much exposition at the beginning. Make it a conversation.
  2. I don't like opening with a conversation.
  3. There's too much action at the beginning. Back up and tell us some of the backstory.
  4. This is boring because it's all set up: nothing happens.
  5. I like that you added dialogue, but I don't like this dialogue.

See the problem? It's 100% impossible to incorporate all of these comments. Trying leads to madness. Just find someone to commiserate (OFF-line or away from public view), ask a couple of friends for their opinions (preferably those who've read more than one page), and do the best you can.

Good luck. 

4 comments:

  1. But what if I LIKE madness?

    Also, great article :)

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  2. This is something I was just talking about last night. Sometimes I feel like there are too many cooks in my kitchen pulling me 15 different ways. It certainly is enough to drive a person crazy.

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  3. I find that conflicting feedback can actually be a good thing - if you've got tons of people saying totally conflicting things, it normally means that your writing is good enough for people to be nitpicking based on their personal preferences. If most people you show it to all say the same things, you know it's got real problems.

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