1. #1 by Davida Chazan on October 11, 2020 - 1:28 pm

    When I finally finish my manuscript, I hope the first people I give it to are completely honest, and rip it to shreds!

  2. #3 by mrdisvan on October 11, 2020 - 2:12 pm

    I don’t know if this helps, but Martin Amis’s latest novel is a complete rewrite of a first draft that he produced (and junked) in 2005. So sometimes writers have to do that soul-searching and rethinking for themselves. In other words, writing is rewriting.

  3. #5 by CARAMEL on October 11, 2020 - 4:12 pm

    I understand the question completely….but I honestly do not know!
    Sometimes I have read books published through publishing houses and I thought they were awful. I am not sure what the publisher saw in them. I recently read a blogger’s self-published book and was lost for words at how much I disliked the story and how confusing and choppy it was.
    But that frightens me about my own books. Maybe they are terrible and all my friends and family are being too nice to me.

    • #6 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on October 11, 2020 - 5:21 pm

      Hi Caramel! The only answer is to find honest critics who should be the right audience for your book. Good luck!

    • #7 by Sam "Goldie" Kirk on October 12, 2020 - 5:32 pm

      I am right there with you, Caramel! Books indeed can be so subjective. I absolutely hate some of the “bestsellers,” while wondering why some people have not been published yet.

      As far as your book is concerned, I would recommend being honest with yourself. Read your book as if it was someone else’s.

  4. #8 by C.E.Robinson on October 11, 2020 - 7:10 pm

    Roz, after my editor line-edited my first draft, he told me it was a practice book. Now, rewrite it and apply what you learned. New plot & scene ideas came to me right away. I’m into the third edit (working with a screenwriter). We edit each other’s work and brainstorm three hours by phone once a week. When I’m finished, it will go back to my editor for an analysis. This is my first novel (historical fiction) and I want it to be the best it can be.

    Developmental editing has an edge at the beginning. The new writer needs to know up front you are developing the story with the writer, and keeping him/her moving the story forward. What slows the story down has to go. With my editor’s line-editing, I learned basically the same. He told me it was a good story, good characters, good dialogue, and I had most all the elements in it. But then there were things to work on. I took his critique seriously. Editors are worth the money. 📚🎶 Christine

    • #9 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on October 11, 2020 - 10:06 pm

      Christine, what you describe here is the joy of editing and the joy of learning, while making a work that matters to you and you want to be proud of. I certainly agree that editors are worth the money, but then I would say that…

  5. #10 by C.E.Robinson on October 11, 2020 - 10:09 pm

    Of course! You earn every dollar! 📚🎶

  6. #11 by cagedunn on October 12, 2020 - 12:00 am

    Reblogged this on Cage Dunn: Fibber, Fabricator, Teller-of-tall-tales and commented:
    Ever had the feedback dilemma? Here’s the goss on how to do it:

  7. #12 by bookstopen on October 12, 2020 - 12:08 am

    Reblogged this on Books to Pen and commented:
    Here’s some great writing and editing advice. I especially appreciate it, as a novice writer who would like to someday write and publish a book.

  8. #13 by bookstopen on October 12, 2020 - 12:11 am

    This is great – thank you!

  9. #15 by tara caribou on October 12, 2020 - 3:32 am

    Excellent advice!

  10. #16 by jenanita01 on October 12, 2020 - 9:18 am

    Writing is one of the hardest jobs, and just when you think you have finished… you never are!

  11. #19 by jenanita01 on October 12, 2020 - 9:19 am

  12. #20 by The Story Reading Ape on October 12, 2020 - 1:43 pm

  13. #21 by Sam "Goldie" Kirk on October 12, 2020 - 5:34 pm

    Giving honest feedback to a friend can be difficult. I would ask why they asked YOU for opinion. Is it because you always cheered them on so they are hoping for validation? Or is it because they see you as an expert in that area? Based on the answer, feedback can be created. Of course it should be honest.

    • #22 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on October 12, 2020 - 6:23 pm

      Sam, you’ve identified an interesting aspect here! Validation can be a very important factor, especially for a book that might feel very personal, or might represent a brave step for the author. All critiquers have to tread sensitively.

  14. #23 by Mason Engel on October 12, 2020 - 8:25 pm

    This is hard. In the handful of times I’ve been in this situation, my response has depended upon the writer friend I’m working with. When my little cousin sent me a short story she’d written for her high school English class and asked for my feedback, I could have told her to scrap the whole thing because of foundational issues one through n, but of course I didn’t. I found the positives, offered some constructive nudges toward important realizations, and ended with more positive. That’s of course a very specific case, but I think it’s representative of the fact that our response to a writer asking for feedback should be contingent upon the progress of that writer in his or her particular journey. Or maybe I’m just being too soft on my cousin. Maybe the Simon Cowell approach would have been better 😀

    • #24 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on October 12, 2020 - 9:15 pm

      Ah, the family angle – that’s an example I hadn’t thought of, Mason! A situation that’s likely to come with a whole heap of back story and tensions…

  15. #25 by Baydreamer on October 13, 2020 - 12:04 am

    Excellent advice! Thank you so much! I think I’ll hang onto this post to refer back to. 🙂

  16. #27 by dgkaye on October 13, 2020 - 1:16 am

    These are excellent tips Roz, being straight, and focusing on the positives and the gruel of being a writer are good feedback. But, if it were me, I wouldn’t have accepted the job. 🙂

  17. #30 by Words Monsters Me on October 17, 2020 - 5:08 am

    Excellent advice. Some of us need to keep stirring our alphabet soup. And we need to develop our thick skins as writers too.
    tyvm for posting! ⚘

  18. #33 by Mark B Murata on October 17, 2020 - 11:20 pm

    Someone I met at a writers conference asked me to read her novel she self-published on the internet. The start wasn’t that good. Then for no particular reason, all of chapter 3 was bold. Then the bold turned off again. Just one of those things.

  19. #34 by jennifermzeiger on November 11, 2020 - 12:32 am

    Honest feedback is so valuable and hard to find. It’s hard but I think people who know you also know if you’re looking for just praise or if you’re hoping for help in the craft. Great post, Roz.

  20. #36 by Mischenko on March 30, 2021 - 11:35 am

    I definitely find this post helpful. Thank you for sharing it. I’m sort of in this position now, but the author is well established with multiple books. This new book (already published) happens to be very different. What’s more, most of the other readers have rated it highly and I ended up hating it. This totally turns me off to reading and reviewing books for friends anymore due to the stress, but I’m going to be honest and hope for the best. Thanks again for the post.

    • #37 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on March 30, 2021 - 1:51 pm

      Thank you, Mischenko! I agree, that’s such an awkward situation. Wishing you good luck – and it’s surely best to be honest.

  21. #38 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on October 12, 2020 - 6:49 am

    Thanks for the reblog!

  1. Critiquing a friend’s book… how do you tell them it doesn’t work? REBLOG – Raw Earth Ink
  2. Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 10-15-2020 | The Author Chronicles
  3. Three Links 10/17/2020 Loleta Abi | Loleta Abi Historical & Fantasy Romance Author & Book Blogger for all genres

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