Monday, August 10, 2015

Making a Difference as a Reader or Writer

A critique group member and I recently read through a fairly polished 100-page submission and only two of our comments were about the same thing. Two comments out of 100 pages! That tells me how valuable to the writer it was to have more than one feedback viewpoint. A rough draft might see more overlapping. But the point is that each reader makes a difference. Eventually she'll need more readers, and each person's feedback will give the writer a chance to see how her story came across. Each reader picks up on different things and cares about or ignores different things in a manuscript or book. Each has their own opinions.
A few days ago I happily discovered a new writer friend. She offered to be a beta reader. That was huge to me. It's a big time commitment for someone to read through and comment on an unpublished manuscript. They don't always know what they are in for, unless they have already read something of the writer's or enjoy that genre. It will be nice to draw from willing readers rather than beg for them when the time comes. Her kind offer made a difference.
Writers make a difference by supporting other writers and exposing their polished stories. Share your craft knowledge and lend encouragement. I know a few good writers who don't want to risk the fact that opinions of their work will vary and some may be hurtful. Don't be a closet writer. No one else can write your story! It took you too much time to keep your project to yourself. Please make it the best you can, and then share it with us. Your best is good enough for the majority.
Readers make a difference by giving helpful comments, reviewing books, and supporting writers by buying books.
Who will you make a difference to this week?

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