Thursday, February 12, 2009

Feedback is a, seriously, it IS

And we have a revamped version of the first 250 words of Gmail prove it.

Oh, but then my old friend Doubt creeps in...

"Are you sure it's better? I mean lots of people really liked the old beginning...and what does stupid so and so know anyways? And be honest, you sort of like the old beginning better, don't you? DON'T YOU?"

Stupid Doubt. She's such a bitch.

Anyways, as new(ish) writers we are constantly struggling with how to apply feedback from agents and other writers. Obviously, feedback from agents and editors carries more weight than our fellow writers (sorry guys!), but should it? Sometimes we get feedback that really resonates and we do the old "DUH, how did we miss that" routine, but more often than not we're left grasping at straws. Love your voice, hate your voice. Great hook, not hooked at all. The pacing is off, the pacing is perfect. You get the idea.

We recently had our first 250 words critiqued by many of our fellow writers and 90% had very positive things to say about our work. They mentioned that our narrative needed some tightening and they gave us some great suggestions, but overall they were hooked. The other 10% completely disagreed and thought our voice was distracting, redundant and (gasp!) melodramatic. So now we have a shiny new version of our first 250 words, but I guess I'm still wondering if it's better.

Oh god, this makes me want to start another poll. Don't worry I'll be strong and at least tinker with the new version for a few more days.

Anyways, as always, interested on your take on this. Please comment!


Marty said...

I always feel feedback is good until it tries to change the voice that you write with - because that voice is yours alone and is the one thing that makes you unique as a writer (or as a writing team in your case).

Lisa and Laura said...

That's a great barometer, Marty! We'll have to keep that in mind.

slhastings said...

Everybody is going to have an opinion one way or another - sometimes conflicting.

For example, on my last MS one agent loved the voice but hated the story. Another loved the story...but hated the voice.

Frustrating? Yes!

BUT that's why we're all different. No two tastes are alike. I liked Stephanie Meyers...some people don't.

Make sure that when you make changes, you stay true to yourself!

slhastings said...

I just re-wrote my first chapter too. (I got similar comments like yours).

Anyway, want to switch?

Lisa and Laura said...

Sam - Love the idea of switching, we're still tinkering with ours. E-mail us when you're ready. At least the SA said she'd continue reading yours...we were bummed that she was so clearly NOT hooked for ours. Ugh.

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