Feedback rule 2: Be specific

It can be extremely frustrating to have your work dismissed with a vague, generalised statement – it’s dull, it’s slow, it’s too Gothic, melodramatic etc.

The sub-text of that comment is that your reader has only skimmed the surface and has not put in the effort to really read your work in detail and understand why you have done it that way. It also leaves you helpless to respond – after all, those are very subjective terms.

One person’s dull is another person’s elegant, evocative prose. It’s also very dismissive.

So in your feedback:

  • Focus on one issue at a time. What changes could be made in the first paragraph? Now the second paragraph.

  • Point to other places in your group writing or your touchstone book where someone has dealt with a similar scene in an effective way.

  • Return to your timelines, touchstone images and character sheets if you feel someone is diverging too far from what you’ve agreed on.

Next post: Be solutions-focussed!

Until then, why not click here to download a copy of Group Fiction!

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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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