The feedback I didn’t expect.

I put the first chapter of my current work in progress up on critique circle (great website… no complaints). I didn’t expect much. I wasn’t even sure how I felt about the chapter yet.

It wasn’t the original first chapter. I had started the book further along in the story line but then decided that it needed more backstory to have it make sense. So this new first chapter happened. I wrote it pretty quickly. Didn’t edit it. Did one brief pass through to make sure I didn’t have any embarrassing errors but honestly went in expecting that there would still be a couple in there somewhere.

And then I forgot that I had put it up for critique.

True story. It’s always a little time delayed. This wasn’t too bad actually. A week I think? But hey life is busy, there are kids. So anyways I forgot. But luckily I am one of those people who keep 50 million tabs open at all times. Seriously. It might be a problem.

Then one day while tied to the couch by a fussy infant I clicked on the tab. And guess what. I had critiques. And not just one. I had 4 (I ended up with 6 by the time it was all said and done). Even stranger. They all liked it. Like really liked it.

To which my reaction was two fold. 1. Wow that is awesome. 2. Holy sh*t what if chapter two sucks.


So. Of course I went though and started to improve chapter 2. Because clearly now the stakes are higher 🙂



2 thoughts on “The feedback I didn’t expect.

  1. I’m sorry for your experience.

    At this point, you’re probably going, “Wait. What?”

    No offense, but you’re probably not a very good writer. I’m basing this assumption on the fact that you’re still new enough at writing to be seeking feedback from sources like critique circle (nothing against that particular site). Don’t get me wrong; it’s good (great, actually) that you’re seeking feedback.

    The issue is that I’m not sure of your motivation from seeking feedback.

    At this early stage of your development, your motivation shouldn’t be:

    – to make your story better (your story is crap, and you’re going to require many, many more drafts)
    – to find out if the people reading it like your story
    – anything at all that even resembles those first two motivations

    The reason you should be seeking feedback is so that you can improve. To improve, you need to have people viciously pick apart your work. Really, you want to see rivers of red ink on that thing. Every word, every sentence examined. Did you have enough tension? Did you break POV there? Was the plot point coherent? Was that massive infodump really necessary? Why did you use THAT word?

    (NOTE: not every comment is correct or valid, and you may not actually make changes based on many of them at all. The point is that the comments makes you see things in your work that you hadn’t noticed.)

    The worst possible outcome is, “This is cool. Thanks for posting.”

    To be honest, I found that scribophile had … more advanced … critiquers than critique circle.


    1. I hadn’t taken it that seriously when I posted to critique circle. This is a story that I’m having fun with and I was curious/bored/I had credits to spend so I figured why not 🙂
      If anything I found the feedback encouraging in the sense that I was motivated to write more. Which in my book is a win. I’ll check out scribophile though thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

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