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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday Spotlight: Kate Hill

Does Negative Feedback Help or Hurt?

I'm not sure that anyone likes hearing bad feedback, but depending on how you look at it, negative feedback can be helpful.

Having someone point out something that doesn't work for them in a story can improve your writing. It can even inspire ideas for future stories.

For instance if someone picks out something in a book they feel needs more development that might be an opportunity to write another story expanding on that character or world. Sometimes a reader saying a story is too short could mean they're interested enough to want more. Those characters or that particular world might be worth exploring in a longer work.

Other times negative comments can't be taken as anything but dislike of the work. Not everyone is going to enjoy every story. Knowing you satisfied a reader feels greats. As a writer that's what I hope to do, but realistically I know that pleasing everyone is impossible. What one person loves, someone else won't and vice versa. If you go to the movies with friends, each person will leave with a different opinion, which is great. Diversity offers more options. For instance some people like bad boy heroes, others like sweet ones. Some readers love blood and guts while others like milder stories.

Listening to comments both good and bad is important and helpful, but ultimately it's up to you to decide what works best for your stories. Sometimes you won't agree with the majority. Other times you might want to make some changes in future works.

How do you feel about negative comments? How about positive ones?


Cathy M said...

As a reader I might glance at a review, but ultimately if the storyline and excerpt works for me, and it's from a favorite author, the review won't sway me from wanting to read that story.

booklover0226 said...

I'll read a review it there is a description about the book but I won't let it determine if I buy a book or not.

If the book is by an author I just adore; I'm going to buy it and judge for myself!

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Kate Hill said...

Hi Cathy and Tracey. Thank you for commenting!

Selena Illyria said...

As an author, I look at the comment and try to use it to improve my writing. Although, it does depend on the nature of the negative comment. If it's snarky then I don't see how helpful it can be.

Kate Hill said...

Thanks for stopping by, Se! That's a very good point.

Anne Kane said...

As an author, I look at constructive criticism as a way to improve my writing, but as a reader I have to admit I rarely read the reviews because I know that reviews are subjective, and what someone else thinks might not be what I think. I have authors I will always buy, and I like to try new ones if the blurb/ covers pique my interest.

Kate Hill said...

Hi Anne! I enjoy reading reviews and like the descriptions that are included, especially if they touch on plot points not included in the blurbs, but like you I buy books if the blurbs and excerpts grab me.