11. Rewriting

Page 6 of 8 | Writing is Rewriting | Basic Approach | Self-Evaluation | More Self-Evaluation | Be Ruthless | Feedback |
| Using Criticism | Put It on the Line |

Feedback from Others
All writers need editors and reviewers. I've written fourteen novels and a bunch of short stories, and I wouldn't dream of seeing my work published without feedback from my peers and from an editor. (That includes this work, by the way.) No matter how talented you are, or how experienced, there's no way that you as an author can view your own writing with the same objective eye that an editor will give it, or you would give the work of another author.

Others will see problems that you're blind to; they'll also see and appreciate the fine points of your work that you might be unsure of.

If you want to improve your writing, you need the constructive criticism of others. Please note: I said constructive criticism. Feedback that consists of thoughtless dismissal is of no use to you; but neither is blind approval. When you ask someone to give you constructive criticism, you're asking for honest appraisal: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Criticism may be - and should be - kindly delivered. But it's no kindness if your reviewer glosses over flaws in your work in order to spare your feelings.

Always remember, it's the story that's being criticized, not you. (If that's not the kind of feedback you're getting, you may need to find a different critic.) Take the criticism as it's meant, as a genuine attempt to help you in your quest to become a better writer.

We'll have more to say about how to give criticism in the next section, on Workshopping.


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