#Sweektips – how to give feedback on writing
September 12, 2017
September 12, 2017
It might be hard, especially when you are a beginning writer, to ask for and handle feedback. It can make you curious, stressed and almost petrified. Nevertheless, you should understand its importance and how it might benefit you. In this way you also show your support to the fellow Sweekers and should provide them with your opinion that will not take their confidence away. ?
What could receiving feedback help you with?
It might provide you with answers to questions (regarding your story) like: Does the plot sound interesting? Is everything clear and does it make sense? Are there any grammar mistakes that you haven’t spotted? (In case you missed it – check our post to find the best tools that do it automatically)
Good feedback might help you choose a better path to follow what should lead to improvement in your writing. It is essential to constantly make progress and do not stop working on your development.
What are the tips for giving someone feedback?
- Create a comfortable atmosphere – do your best to avoid hurting someone’s feelings and make him/her feel safe. You can be tough but do not be mean.
- This means that you should not focus only on the negative side and do not get to the point straight away (and judge) but describe what have you noticed. Balance the negative points with the positive ones. Our brain tends to perceive unpleasant comments more intensively while positives are treated neutrally (it’s called negative bias).
- If you cannot think about a constructive criticism, do not criticise at all. Do not make this person look and feel bad, especially on the forum where other people could see it.
- Stay objective and disregard personal feelings that might stand on the way to appreciate the great things about the piece of work you’re evaluating.
- Offer specific suggestions regarding what can be done to make it better.
- Show your support.
Here are some examples of questions that you might ask yourself while reading a story:
- Is the plot line clear or are you confused? Are there any plot holes? These are decisions the author makes – but they remain open or unsolved, or turn out irrelevant or untrue.
- Is there a common theme throughout the story?
- Is the story original and does it have unexpected elements?
- Did you keep attention throughout the story or did it lose impact at one point?
- Do the characters have depth and are do they evolve throughout the story?
- Are the dialogues meaningful and interesting, and are they believable?
- Does the author set a good scene? Are you taken into the world of the story?
- Do the sentences and paragraphs flow? Is the story easy to read? Does the writing style fit with the theme of the story? Is the vocabulary and sentence structure varied?
- Are there any grammar and interpunction mistakes?
- How do you think this story can get better?