1. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    Feedback from Non-Writers...

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Imaginarily, Nov 18, 2015.

    ... can be valuable too, if only to remind yourself to have a sense of humor about your work. My raid leader was curious about my WIP, so I sent him the first chapter. He didn't have any specific, detailed critique for me, just that my intentional vagueness made him completely clueless throughout the chapter. So I asked,

    [​IMG]

    :rofl:

    Gotta be able to make fun of yourself.
     
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  2. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Jack as a gigolo :supergrin:

    I liked the feedback from my non-writer friend because it was just her impressions and thoughts with no explanations or justifications or suggestions. I wouldn't want ALL my beta feedback to be like that (obviously deeper explanations and suggestions are incredibly valuable) but I really like getting a mix. A sample of hers:

    - I hate James

    - I HATE JAMES I HOPE HE GETS HIS JUST DESSERTS

    - I'm a bit like James tho :/
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
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  3. Gisella_M
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    Gisella_M Member

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    You must be doing something right!
     
  4. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I find it very easy to write arseholes and people seem to hate them. Unfortunately I'm not so good at characters I think are sympathetic. I'm not sure what this says about me but I'm determined not to think too much about it. :D
     
  5. Gisella_M
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    Gisella_M Member

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    Arseholes are the best characters! It helps if they come to terms with some of their character defects by the end of course. My stories are full of arseholes, but that is another story.... ;)
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I generally find feedback from non-writers much more valuable than feedback from writers.

    The non-writers are the larger intended audience after all, so it's them I'm trying to write for. And too often writers have their own projects and their own writing styles too firmly in mind, and seem to be comparing my work to theirs, rather than treating it as an independent thing.
     
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  7. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    I only have one Alpha: She does not write fiction (or anything remotely related), but writes fund-raising articles at her job. She also reads Fantasy in her spare time - her advice has been invaluable so far. But I am not sure she counts here.
    As BayView said, I would like to aim at a wider audience but so far I am out of luck with Fantasy-readers in my immediate vicinity :(
     
  8. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pretty much this. I'd say writers are more helpful during the "workshop" phase, but non-writers are more helpful in the "here's my final draft what do you think" phase.

    But as I have yet to get to that last phase, my opinion should be taken with a shaker of salt.
     
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  9. thespian
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    thespian Member

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    I find feedback from non-writers just as important. Say when it comes to screenplays for TV series, sometimes the production will have to invest additional millions of dollars to change the plot just because ppl don't want a character to die.
     
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  10. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    I think this is true. But then, you're coming down to the age-old question. Do I write to please the people or to satisfy my own sick literary cravings.:D No doubt if you're publishing it would have to be the former. Most of the time, at least.
     
  11. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    Hey, but that's a strong reaction though, which means your writing has effect. IMO the worst crit of all is one that says 'I don't remember because it just wasn't interesting'. LOL! :dry:
     
  12. thespian
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    thespian Member

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    Be selfish of course, write what you actually like, there are too many minds with different tastes out there. Write to whet your own appetite.
     
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  13. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Depends on your goals. If your #1 priority is getting traditionally published, you need to start with "what will sell?"

    If your #1 goal is to enjoy the writing, start with "what do I want to write?"

    Occasionally question two will end up fulfilling both goals, but that's luck.
     
  14. Gisella_M
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    Gisella_M Member

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    I don't know that I agree with that. If you are writing a book that is not fun to write, it is very unlikely to be fun to read. While books go in trends like anything else. 5 years ago who would have advised that twilight fan fiction would sell well?
     
  15. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Something like 1% of submitted manuscripts are published. If that's your goal you really need to do everything in your power to maximise your chances of success, including writing what sells. Agents/publishers are more likely to pick something up if it fits in with current trends rather than something new that may or may not be the next Twilight.
     
  16. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think 50 Shades is much more the exception than the rule. And personally, I wouldn't count on my work being an exception.

    Writing, for me, is satisfying, but it's not fun. Back when I was writing fanfiction, it was more fun because I didn't worry about making the writing any better than it had to be. But trying to write well is hard work. And that's not too much fun, at least for me.
     

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