Who Reads Your Writing?

   honest feedback

   I’VE HEARD OF people having beta readers, the book equivalent of a screen-test, who read a story and help the author to sort out issues they didn’t see themselves. Or simply to read a piece and critique it, say what they liked, what they didn’t.

The trouble is, people with beta readers are usually published authors. What do you do to get feedback on your finished or near finished stories? Family and friends are good and often willing, but also tend to be biased, so feedback isn’t always brutally honest like it needs to be.

But if you’re farming out your writing to someone else it raises all kinds of worrying issues such especially that of trust with your material. I don’t even like my writing leaving my laptop!

What’s the answer? Is there a ‘safe’ way? I don’t know.

11 Comments

  1. oops!
    critique on another (unpaid). On top of that, my wife has done a lot of editing, but good as she is at the job, I’m discovering that the bias is always there. I’m not too troubled if my books don’t sell in their millions (they don’t) but if that’s what you want, the only option is to pay someone to edit your book for you. Family and friends are not typical of the reading public.

  2. I have just finished my first novel which is the first serious piece of writing I have undertaken. Only two people have read my work and they have both provided feedback. I obviously found the positive feedback to be delightful and I found the negative feedback to be slightly disheartening. I am currently writing my second novel and what I learned from the first experience is that the joy of writing is in creating your characters and telling your story. I made a few changes to the novel and have just self published it on the Kindle Store. It may well get torn apart by readers but that wont take away the joy I had whilst writing the book and creating my characters. If you enjoy writing it doesn’t matter what others think or say. No negative reviews will take away the joy we all feel in writing.

    It may put people off reading our work but what difference does that make?

    Writers that are interested purely in financial gain surely do not get the same joy that I got from telling my story and as the lion portrays in his short story about a world without money, it means absolutely nothing!

  3. I have noticed that the feedback tends to be slanted. I have my style and unless the beta reader or others have the same style they tend to poo poo my efforts. I have that little niche I call my own. So I blog and get the ideas out. Like today it is a bird story. It came out of no where when I woke up. I had the itch to write it and so I did. Why, hell if I know. I hope someone out there likes it. I love positive feedback. But it is a small work and just for a brief smile. If that occurs and there is a comment I smile and that to me makes my ego sing and my spirit soar. I guess I am simple, but in a complex way.

  4. My daughters screen my serious writing otherwise I just toss it online and let the jackals rip me apart. 🙂 My daughters are brutal critics. Be careful who you trust with the job because honesty can be painful to hear.

      1. I have seven daughters. Yes, seven. Also three sons but they’re not so gung ho to read my musings.

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