As I’ve probably mentioned before, I’m writing a novel called ‘White Water’. I’m about a third of the way in and seek every opportunity for feedback I can get. Even the bad stuff. Especially the bad stuff.
When I first started as a writer I used to attend the odd course in the community and these were great but as I moved on with my writing I found that often they could end up as ego massage sessions rather than a useful forum for learning and developing a a writer.
That’s why I’m so pleased I found the brilliant Sheffield Novelist Group. We meet once a month, usually the last Monday and we critique each others submissions from our novels (sometimes short stories). We manage to tread the fine line between useful critique and positive comments pretty well and it’s a really friendly unpretentious group run by the writer Anne Grange (Author of Inside Outside).
I also find the Kindle Write On site really useful. You basically post your novel a bit at a time and hopefully people follow you and provide feedback on your writing. I’m also a member of a brilliant critique group on there, all writers of women’s fiction, some published. For this, we review one book every three months.
This is really useful in preparing your work for submission to an agent or going down the indie publishing route such as publishing it as an ebook for the Kindle.
Of course, both of these involve the commitment and hard work of taking the time to read other people’s work and commenting on it in return. This though, is an overlooked aspect of becoming a better writer. By critiquing other people’s work, you learn what does and doesn’t work and carry it forward to your own writing.
If you’re writing and want to take it further, I’d seriously recommend you join a group or one of the sites for this. Some of these sites are listed below:
Do you know another site for great feedback or do you dread feedback? Maybe you’ve had a bad experience you want to share? Leave a comment below and let me know!