Handling Criticism: How to Embrace Feedback for Better Novels

Handling Criticism: How to Embrace Feedback for Better Novels

When someone criticizes your work, it can be discouraging. But don’t assume they are out to hurt you. Some criticism is constructive and helpful. Harsh criticism, on the other hand, is often destructive and best ignored. Recognizing the difference between constructive and destructive feedback is the first step in handling it well. This will help you keep your motivation up and your confidence high while you work on your novel.

Be open to feedback

If you’re open to criticism, you’ll have a better chance of addressing it. Critique isn’t an attack on your ability as a writer, but an assessment of how you can improve your novel.

A good critique should be constructive and specific. For example, if a reader notices that you use too many adverbs in your dialogue tags, they’ll be able to give you helpful advice about how to fix this.

It’s also important to have a circle of readers you trust. They can help you stay grounded and focused on what’s truly important in your writing.

Be honest

If you really want to grow as a writer, you’re going to have to take a good hard look at your work. This means asking for honest feedback.

When someone gives you criticism, don’t treat it as a personal attack. Remember that it’s a critique of your writing, not a reflection of your value as a person.

It’s also important to remember that not everyone will love your story. While some people will think your book is the bee’s knees, others won’t connect with it. This is okay.

Ask for help

When a person is critical of your work, they often have good intentions. Try to listen actively without judging their intentions. Ask questions to clarify if you don’t understand the feedback.

No one will have the same opinion on your work. Avoid back-and-forth arguments about the criticism. These types of exchanges are not productive and can lead to more defensiveness and hurt feelings.

No writer ever writes a brilliant novel in one stone-cold genius draft. Brilliant novels are built in layers, revised, cut, incised and shaped with every critique.

Don’t take it personally

Whether you’re writing your first novel or an experienced author, it’s important to understand that not all criticism is fair. If someone is offering feedback that is clearly not constructive or is focusing on random elements of your story (like your use of “nevertheless”), it’s not worth your time to take their comments to heart.

Try to remember that your writing is not you. When people criticize your work, it has nothing to do with who you are as a person. Criticism is a subjective evaluation of your writing, not an indictment of your character or value.

Don’t get defensive

If your initial reaction is to become defensive, pause and take a step back. This will help you understand what the person is really saying and can prevent you from misinterpreting their feedback.

Remember, it’s not personal. It’s just a pill of criticism that you might need to swallow, even if it’s bitter. Whether the critic is Nabokov or your ten-year-old niece, their opinion is just another piece of information to consider.

If you’re able to evaluate criticism objectively, constructive feedback can be useful in improving your writing. However, not all critiques will be useful.

Don’t ignore it

As writers, we are often our harshest critics. It can be useful to “kill your darlings,” but it’s also important to take outside feedback into consideration.

Remember that most people who give feedback want to help you improve your writing. Even if they don’t always say it in the most tactful way, they have your best interests in mind.

If possible, try to discuss the criticism in person. This will prevent you from jumping to conclusions about their motives and will allow you to clarify any confusion about their comments.

Take action

When you receive criticism, it’s important to take action. Don’t ignore it or get defensive. Take it on board and make the changes needed to improve your novel.

Obviously, you can’t correct every critique that comes your way. For example, if fans are angry at your decision to kill off a popular character, you can’t simply bring them back in the next instalment.

However, fair criticism can be an opportunity to learn and grow. If you can learn to distinguish between destructive and constructive criticism, you’ll be able to use it as motivation to improve your writing.

The Magic of Words – The Tale of Poetry” is mesmerizing as we improve our writing and books. This engaging piece explores poetry’s ability to create powerful emotions in readers. Authors can use poetry to enrich their stories. Accepting comments, whether poetry or prose, helps writers improve their work, sharpen their talents, and generate novels that capture readers’ hearts. Let’s use words and constructive criticism to create timeless literary masterpieces.

About Us

Swedish literary thriller writer Robert Karjel Gothenburg-born and Stockholm-based, he is a helicopter pilot and the only Swedish Air Force Lieutenant Colonel to train alongside the U.S. Marines.

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