Asking for Feedback and Incorporating It

You’ve poured your heart and soul into your manuscript, spending countless hours developing characters, building worlds and weaving intricate plots. But guess what? It’s time to invite others to the party!

Soliciting feedback from others offers a fresh perspective, which can be incredibly valuable in improving your work. Let’s dive into the art and science of asking for and incorporating feedback.

Why Outside Feedback Is Important

Why Outside Feedback Is Important

Writing can be a lonely business, and when you’re stuck in your own head, you can become blind to certain issues within your manuscript. That’s where feedback comes in.

Fresh eyes can spot inconsistencies, plot holes, unclear writing and other blemishes you might have missed. Plus, feedback can also reassure you about what you’re doing right!

When to Ask for Feedback

The “when” can be a tricky beast. Some writers like to have feedback early in the process, even during the planning phase, while others prefer to wait until they have a full draft. Ultimately, it comes down to your preference and the type of feedback you seek.

I like to ask my friends, family and beta readers for feedback when the book is as polished as I can get it myself. The only exception to this is when I have a specific issue with the plot or a character and need some unbiased opinions on what to do.

Differentiating Good Feedback From the Bad

The most useful feedback provides specific examples and actionable suggestions. It goes beyond “I liked it” or “I didn’t like it,” to explain why. In contrast, vague or overly harsh feedback that doesn’t offer solutions may not be as helpful.

How to Know What Feedback to Incorporate

Take every piece of feedback with a grain of salt. It’s important to remember that feedback is subjective, and what one person dislikes, another might love. If multiple people point out the same issue, it’s likely something you should address.

Ultimately, it’s your story. If a piece of feedback doesn’t align with your vision for the story, you’re not obligated to incorporate it. But at least ask yourself if the changes they suggested would improve your story or not.

It’s a Feedback Fiesta

Yes, feedback can be scary, but it’s an essential part of the writing process. So, don your bravery cape, send out your manuscript, and get ready to dive into the feedback fiesta!