"I love this. It's great."
"Oh, thanks but yours is so much better. Your
story is absolutely incredible."
"Thank you...You think so? Your images are
Yadda, yadda, yadda...
If you share your work enough with people like this, you will need a thesarus with you at all times, so you can get some words and phrases like "earth shattering" and "life changing" and "moving" and "chilling" sprinkled in with the normal great/fabulous/wonderful.
However, if you are serious about writing, and you genuinely want to improve your story/poem/essay, you need to share your writing with people who are armed with spears. And when they raise their spears, you need to raise up your shield and see where the spear points land. And you need to write down where the dents are, so you don't forget...
|photo by spaceninja|
With your writing, it's good to get constructive criticism. A friend who can pick apart your work...one who reads with a writer's eye...a friend who is not afraid to make suggestions...That is the kind of friend a writer needs.
Yesterday evening, Linda O'Connell , while she was busy doing the sacred "Snow Day" dance over and over again (it worked!), she made some time to look at a story of mine. Not only did she read it, but she gave me a bunch of much-needed suggestions to improve it, she gave some specific images to jumpstart my revising, and she sent me several places for resubmitting the story.
Now, that does not mean I agree with all her suggestions. There is one I've got my heels dug in about, but I did not use the strategy well, so I will tweak it but keep the technique. However, when a writer re-examines their work to "make their case" about a word choice or metaphor, their writing becomes stronger.
Thanks, Linda. I will resend you the story when it is revised. And I want to know from all the blogging writers that might read this: Who do you share your writing with when you want some real feedback? How do they help you specifically? After all,
Writers do not let friends write crap.