Feedback rule 1: Be sensitive

There you are at your feedback session and one of the other writers is reading out their work. You have plenty of notes that you've scribbled onto your copy of their work that you are sure will make the text sing like a canary.

Now you need to raise them, but how? Start by picking out some elements from your fellow group member’s writing that you really like and praise them. You have to be genuine here to avoid sounding condescending!

Next, you can address the issues that you feel might benefit from a few changes. When you do:

  • Try to use ‘we’ statements instead of ‘you’ or ‘I’. For example ‘we could probably shorten that sentence a bit.’ Or ‘If we want Katrina to come across as really angry in this scene, we could put in a description of her body language.’

  • Always frame your feedback as suggestions only. No-one is in a position to dictate or demand

  • Bring the rest of the group into the discussion. ‘If we changed to Ralph’s point of view here it might be more powerful. What does everyone think?’

Simple politeness is an integral part of this. Wait your turn and don’t talk over other people!

Next post: Be specific! Meanwhile click here to download your copy of "How to Write Fiction as a Group".

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The Painted Sky and The Shifting Light


The three of us wrote two successful  novels with two other collaborators.


Learn more and order our novels here:

The Painted Sky (2015, Penguin Random House)

The Shifting Light (2017, Penguin Random House)

What others are saying

At first we couldn’t believe that The Painted Sky was written by five people - it reads seamlessly, and the characters and storylines are so vividly realised.”

--Beverley Cousins, Fiction Publisher at Random House Australia.

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Our group fiction writing experience taught us many lessons about how to have a harmonious and happy team experience while creating two fabulous novels.















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