1. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    Serious question: How are we supposed to get feedback?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by BillyxRansom, Aug 19, 2010.

    If we can't expect to retain first rights after we post an excerpt, how are we supposed to get feedback from other writers or readers?

    This question was probably posted before, but I can't find it. Thanks/sorry in advance.

    -Billy
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    There's nothing stopping you showing it to other people in private and getting feedback that way.

    But there comes a point when you have to just do it yourself, you know? If you keep opening yourself to other people's opinions and ideas, then you're going to reach a point where you compromise your vision of the text for what that person likes. As a writer, you should be aiming for more or less total autonomy.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Post a sample of your work that is something you don't intend to try and publish. That way you can get feedback on your writing style, applicable to your work in general.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with both arron and Banzai on this. Get wider feedback on your writing skills by posting excerpts of pieces not intended for submission. It's a learning process for which there really aren't a lot of shortcuts. You'll learn what you do well, and where your weaknesses are. You'll learn to improve in your weaker areas. You'll learn to evaluate your story against your critiqued samples, and make necessary improvements.

    In the process, you will develop confidence.

    You may be able to get feedback from some trusted friends, but chances are it will not be very useful, unless you have friends who are also writers.

    At some point, you will decide you are ready to start submitting. You will then probably be humbled again, but keep at it. Go back and see what else you can improve in your writing skills, and continue to submit.

    You may not get much feedback from submissions, but any you do get will be on a new level. Make full use of it.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Just to chime in tune with Cog and Arron and Banzai....

    You have to remember that the the treasure is you, the writer, not just the gem in your hands.

    I am reminded of a work that I read at university which frustratingly I can remember neither the author nor the name of the work, but...

    In this story, which circles around a late 60's African American family divided into two parts. Rather the City Folk VS the Country Folk kind of story. Anyway, the city part of the family comes to visit their poor country kin mainly to raid the old family house for bits of cultural treasure that is now in fashion in the timeline of the book. The section in question focuses around a lady who wants the family quilts. And specifically not the quilts which have been machine stitched, but the ones that had been sewn completely by hand because those were "the real ones."

    The young woman who lives in the country house is baffled by her city kin in their dashikis and large perfectly rounded afros (author's description, not mine) and hands the quilts over without hesitation. Her city kin laugh to themselves that she should be so dim and thick as to hand these items over for just a few dollars and the crux of the story lies in the one piece of dialogue that is the very soul of the work.

    The country girl says, "That's a enough [after having been given the money]. I can buy enough thread with this to make ten quilts."

    The city family were the fools for thinking that the quilts themselves were the treasures. It was the young country girl who possessed the true treasure in her capacity to make these quilts.

    So... (for any who have actually stuck with that train of thought) the treasure is in your ability which must be honed again and again and again on different works. As Arron has stated, there comes a point where you just have to dive in. And you cannot just dive in with that one work. You must have practiced on endless works until you know that your skills are what are carrying you, not just the perfection of that one piece.

    EDIT ~ I believe this ref comes form Alice Walker's The Temple of my Familiar.
     
  6. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, but you still shouldn't sell your quilts too cheaply.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's a matter of perspective. One person's purely functional bedspread is another person's valuable work of folk art. The definition of "too cheaply" depends on who you are.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Ok, back on track people.

    My point is that the skill is the root, the source, the fountain for the art. Without it, the art does not exist.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i agree with arron, banz and cog on this... all good advice worth following...

    and if you want private feedback, i provide that for writers of all stripes, as long as the work has no violent content...

    love and hugs, maia
     

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