1. Hublocker

    Hublocker Member

    Mar 27, 2018
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    Do you show your writing?

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Hublocker, May 9, 2018.

    I'm approaching 20,000 words in a new novel first draft.

    I'm just wondering if it is worth showing to someone to see if it holds together as a story and if it compels readers to want more.

    But I don't know who to show it to.

    Friends will be too shy to be negative, a fellow writer may be the only other I could show it to, and I can't imagine who else might be a candidate. Or should I forget it and just keep it under wraps until complete?
  2. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.
    My advice, find a critique group. If you don't get feedback until you are finished you might be very disappointed. On the other hand if you do, your writing skills will benefit along with your work.
    Delise likes this.
  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Aug 1, 2016
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    East devon/somerset border
    The workshop forums here would be a good call - not all of it, but a few thousand words at a time (remembering of course that you need to have given 2 crits for each one you request)
    Malisky likes this.
  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    Some writers find it discouraging to get feedback too early, others thrive on it. Some writers feel early feedback makes the work less "theirs", others don't have that issue at all. It comes down to what works for you - there's no real cross-the-board answer.
    Lifeline and Shenanigator like this.
  5. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

    Jun 5, 2016
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    I've notices on this thread there has been some activity with people offering to alpha or beta read each other's work. Personally I've head the best luck with sending my work (either finished or not) to other writers whose work I enjoy and who write in the same genre that I do. Their feedback has been amazing, very honest while still being kind and compassionate.
    Shenanigator and Delise like this.
  6. Malisky

    Malisky Sirocco Contributor

    Apr 11, 2012
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    The Middle of Nowhere The Center of Everywhere
    I'm still working on this. Trying to hold back and pay retribution. What's fair's fair.

    I only show my writing when I'm really content or invested upon it. I never show rough takes because they make no sense and belittle my vision. I sometimes may write things that are quite experimental and show them in order to see how they are perceived by others too.
  7. Irina Samarskaya

    Irina Samarskaya Senior Member

    Aug 9, 2018
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    My mother, my father, my mentor, and my best friend. I was happy to hear my mentor finish it over a week given it was unfinished and a thousand pages long. He said "it kept my interest and I would definitely buy it. Keep doing what you're doing".
    John-Wayne likes this.
  8. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Jul 7, 2016
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    Showing work too soon makes me less likely to continue working on it or finishing it. I think reaching 20,000 words is quite an accomplishment. When I hit that mark, I was a little eager to have someone read it. It wasn't that I really needed feedback to continue. It was more that I had worked so hard and I wanted someone to take notice. The thing was that those first 20,000 words were not in final draft form (though somewhat edited). Still, it wasn't my best at that point. Once the story is actually finished, a round or two of revision can make a big difference. And that's the version I really want people to read. When it's my best or close to my best or the potential for it to be my best is there. A rough 20,000 words is still a big accomplishment, but I would keep the champaign and beta readers on ice a little longer.

    Right around the place where you are, I asked my lover to take a look. It didn't go well for either of us and I had to put an end to it after a few pages. My lover will likely read this story dozens of times. I think that's part of being in a relationship with a writer. But I don't really need any input yet because it's not done and it's not as clean as I can make it yet. I find it much more useful just talking about where I am in the book, what's happened, what might happen next. I think that's more fun for both of us than making anyone read a rough draft and then getting pissed at the sort of comments that are appropriate for most rough drafts. No one wants to read rough drafts.
  9. Nariac

    Nariac Contributor Contributor

    Jun 7, 2018
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    I show it to three people, my mum, who was a professional editor, my brother, who reads like a ... something that reads an awful lot, and to my girlfriend, who also writes.

    I'm lucky to have a group of people who are so good at giving constructive feedback.
  10. MikeyC

    MikeyC Active Member

    Sep 9, 2013
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    I have no qualms. Will let anyone read anything i have written no matter the stage.
    In turns of critique I receive, I sort of apply weight to it, depending on how much I know/regard them. (that's a bit more difficult)
    And whether the give feedback as to what i asked. For example, if someone offers (i never ask anyone to critique), then i always have an idea of what it is i am looking to be critiqued. Whether it is story, grammar, character etc. Or sometimes anything. How they then feed it back will determine how much weight I apply.

    No algorithms but a sense of how well it works.....

    Wishy washy i know.

  11. katina

    katina Banned Contributor

    May 30, 2018
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  12. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Contributor

    Oct 12, 2015
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    On the Road.
    In the beginning, I showed my work to trusted critique partners. It was an amazing help, getting the cramps out of my writing and getting comfortable with grammar and how-to tricks of the trade. Without these people (you know who you are!), I'd have been lost.

    In recent times, I've stopped showing my work. Mainly because a) I got tired of giving a short out only to scrap it later and have to ask the critiquer to take a new look at an old topic (sometimes multiple times, which would have confused my poor critiquers end to end because of changed setting), and b) my own mind played tricks on me. I developed writer's block because I got scared of my story. I don't even read my own past shorts now so that I don't block myself. Just write, think and read later—that's what I'm gonna do for the foreseeable future.
    Cave Troll likes this.
  13. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll What do you mean, 'no more abductions'? :P Contributor

    Aug 8, 2015
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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    It is helpful if you can find a local writing group.
    I stopped really sharing chunks from my latest
    novel for my own reasons, but might look for
    Betas later on when it gets to a more polished
    state and finished.

    But getting feedback of any kind can be useful
    and help you strengthen your writer skills. :)
    Shenanigator likes this.
  14. graveleye

    graveleye Senior Member

    Nov 6, 2017
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    I don't like anyone reading my stuff until it's done. I have a trusted writer friend who has become a beta reader for my work but she doesn't get to see it until my 2nd or 3rd revision.
    I'm just sort of a private person and don't even feel comfortable sharing my first three sentences, much less a whole chapter or more.
    I understand feedback is important, but I'm a harsh self critic, so generally I don't feel like I need too much outside critique.

    I know this is a poor metaphor, but I'm also a songwriter, and I know that there are a gazillion genres of music that's different than mine. If I let a fan of metal or dub-step critique my music, what good is that going to do me since that's not what I do?

    Writing is very different and I understand that, but honestly, I would rather have a trusted person who has gotten to know me, my personality and style critique my writing. They're better equipped to get inside my mind to know why I did something the way I did, and correct it while keeping it within my original and personal goal.

    but that's just me of course. I'm sort of a weirdo that takes a lot of pleasure just making art and doing it my way, like it or lump it. This is my story and this is how I told it. The End. :)
    VM80 likes this.
  15. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Stubborn Finnsperger Contributor

    Jul 31, 2018
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    Different people for different purposes.

    I in the beginning of a first draft. I have read some pages to my family & some other people. I ask them to tell me their physical reactions and feelings - not to analyse or comment the text.

    If they can tell me only about themselves, their input is valuable and useful.

    I read them little and stop to ask. Then I pay attention to if they do or don't want to hear more and how their reactions vary.

    Much later I will need beta readers for beta reading.

    And after that I might need some professional help for editing.
    Siberian likes this.
  16. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

    Jun 24, 2017
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    If you think you can handle whatever someone tells you when they give you feedback, go ahead and show them. If you think there's any chance it'll discourage you or hurt your relationship with the person you show it to (if they're someone you know personally), then I'd say don't risk it.
    I don't typically show people anything until it's done and edited as much as I'm gonna edit it at that point in time. Right now, even though I have my manuscript finished, I'm revising it, and I won't show it to anyone because it is not in any shape to be shown. Essentially a construction area.
    I will, however, share my ideas of things I'm thinking of doing with people and see what they have to say. That helps me a lot.
    Nariac likes this.

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