Monday, June 6, 2011

Ten Things Not To Do As A Reader (in a Feedback Group)

From Emily at The Berry

This was originally linked to a guest post on a site that's since been taken down.  So I'm republishing on my own blog, the companion piece, Ten Things Not To Do As A Writer (in a Feedback Group)

(Isn't the first time a writer chased her own tail, is it?)

Ten Things Not To Do as a Reader in a Feedback Group

1) When arriving late, don’t look around to see if critique is already in session.  If it is, don’t mumble, “Sorry, traffic,” and do the Walk-of-Shame slink to your seat.  Always make a big, dramatic entrance and chat everyone up until you feel ready to settle in to work.

2) Make sure to let everyone know how inferior any other genre is to the one you write.  Refuse to make more than minimal comment on work in any genres that are beneath your notice.  Sit there Tweeting your friends until the group gets to something worthy of your attention.

3) Don’t quietly note punctuation or spelling corrections on the pages, but endlessly belabor them out loud.  No writer worth his/her salt will ever make a typo or misuse a semi-colon, right?

4) Make lots of vague negative comments, like, “I’ve never liked stories about boys and their dogs.”  Don't offer any ideas about how what you don’t like might be fixed

5) Scribble notes for the author in hieroglyphics they won’t possibly be able to decipher.

6) When someone brings work that is of a controversial political or religious nature, forget about helping them to express their own (deluded) viewpoint more clearly.  No matter what it takes, it is now your mission to bring them to the light and save them from themselves.

7) Forget about the author’s vision and voice.  Do your best to rewrite the story the way it should be told according to your own (superior) style.

8) Make lots of personal assumptions about the author based on his or her work.  An erotica author must be a kinky pervert, and a mystery writer is obviously a closeted serial killer.

9) Dominate the meeting with your invaluable comments, even if it leaves little time for others to speak, because no one else there can possibly voice the same brilliant insights.

10) Rarely find anything good to say about another author’s work or their possibility of success.  They need to feel down deep in their bones how very tough it is to be a writer, not leave feeling happy and excited about doing a rewrite. 

What, writers make mistakes too? 
Click over to to read Ten Things Not To Do as a Writer
 in a Feedback Group.

(As a side note - speaking of Walk-of-Shame, I have probably committed all these sins myself at one time or another.  Both as a writer and as a reader.  So you're in good - or bad- company.) 

Your thoughts?