Yeah I know, I already DID ask a question. And since by continuing to read you’ve effectively answered yes, I’m going to ask more questions, this time without requesting permission. The author flexes his rhetorical muscles, the charming innocence of the uncluttered mind.
Joynell Schultz has posted a tw0 part series on how to solicit feedback for one’s writing. She describes a number of options, even those she does not pursue for her own work, and offers practical advice for writers who haven’t experienced the anxious joy of having their work critiqued.
For myself, I’ve participated in a number of peer reviews as a technical writer, both as reviewer and author, and have taken the core rules to heart — as the reader you are to critique the writing not the writer, and as the author you focus on the analysis rather than the emotion with which it is conveyed. But with fiction, I haven’t participated in peer reviews since my college days, far too many years in the past — and now that I have complete drafts of stories and seven chapters for my novel on this blog, it’s time for me to show what I’ve accomplished to a larger group of readers.
Which leads, finally, to my questions — what techniques do you employ to solicit feedback on your writing? Do you use online resources, or engage with in-person peer reviews? If you use a combination of both, what have you found to be the advantages and disadvantages of each? Have you asked your family and/or friends to review your work, and have they offered analysis that wasn’t provided by online or peer reviewers? In your experience, do fellow writers make better reviewers than actively engaged readers who don’t write on their own? Have you ever paid for a reader or editor, and did you feel that was money well spent?
That’s a bunch of questions I just asked, and I appreciate you reading through them. Please leave me a comment with any insight or experience you have with soliciting readers for your work.