Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How closely do you follow the feedback you're given???

I thrive on feedback...whether it's my writers group or my friends. I am lucky that I have a good group who gives me honest critique...even the friends. They understand that smiling and saying they love it if they don't does not help me one bit. So I sincerely appreciate their comments..and the time they take to read my stuff!

But I wonder, as the writer, how much should you take to heart?? I have learned to take all critique with a shaker of salt. Everyone has a different opinion..one reader could love something (and truly mean it) while another hates every word. The hard part is weeding out and using what is useful to you.

I have gotten some invaluable info from readers...like just the other day..my character has blue eyes, but he's Mexican and most likely a Mexican would not have blue eyes. The thought never occurred to me...I just like writing about blue eyes, there are so many pretty words to describe them. The most enticing word I could come up with for brown was 'chocolaty eyes'. Yummy...but not so much sexy or intriguing....as opposed to cerulean, which I used to describe the eyes at one point. I'll have to save cerulean for another hunk.....

Anyway, my point is that sometimes I get some great great feedback and it kinda slaps me in the head and I have a 'duh' moment. And other times, I am just not sure what to do with it. My last piece, one reader loved the ending just the way it was while another wanted more at the end. I liked leaving it as is...not spelling out the happily ever after...it is most definitely implied though.

How serious do you take reader comments?? Do you make all the changes they suggest, or not at all if you don't agree??

I take them all seriously and do give thought to every one, but in the end...it's my story and I have to be happy with it.


  1. I think a lot of my reaction would depend on the type of comment.

    A critique pointing out that an MC was just wearing an orange shirt and now its described as red needs attention. It's not a matter of opinion, but an overlooked mistake.

    A critique that gives opinion (ie, I love this scene, or I don't like the dialogue between these characters) is tricky. I read the comment and reflect on it. Is there a way to address their concerns without changing too much? Maybe they don't like the dialogue because the tension because the characters wasn't properly explained earlier, which can be rectified to give the scene the right feeling.

    Ultimately, like you said, it's your book and you have to do what feels right.

  2. found this on yahoo answers...here are some great brown substitutes - some are even sexy...

    "in spanish the word for brown is "moreno"
    here is a list of english adjectives that can still signify the color brown: mahogany, auburn, beige, bronze,amber, buff, burnt sienna, chestnut, chocolate, cinnamon, cocoa, coffee, copper, drab, hazel, khaki, , nut, puce, russet, rust, sepia, snuff-colored, sorrel, tan, tawny, terra-cotta, toast"

    found here:

  3. No, I don't use every piece of advice I'm given. (Honestly, you can't make everyone happy) LOL!

    I kind of pick and choose what feels right to me and my story and what I think is really important.

  4. Another adjective for brown eyes "velvet".

    I agree with what you are saying-it's important to consider all the critiques-but some are definitely just a matter of taste. (like the ending preferences) In those instances, final decision is the author's! :) I reserve final judgement on my writing.

  5. Thanks for the brown alternatives...I had yet to actually thesaurus it!! (and yes...I just took thesaurus and made it into a verb!!)

    "I stared into Manuel's toast-colored eyes and melted like a pat of butter sitting in the Cancun sun."

    Hmm...what do ya think??? LOL!!!!!!!!! I couldn't resist!!