Authors typically like to receive feedback from what they have written. They hand their manuscripts to friends or colleagues and ask for their opinions. I’d like to suggest this is not the best approach because the people to whom you are handing your work aren’t always looking to give you what you need to hear. So, they say, “It’s good” or whatever, instead of helping guide you to develop a better product.
Before handing your work to other people for feedback, I’d like to suggest that you also give them some questions to answer that will help you achieve something remarkable:
1) Is the basic idea or topic a good one? What need does it fill?
2) Does the book make a valid or reasonable argument for or against the topic?
3) Is there enough evidence and examples? Too few?
4) Does the writing fit the audience?
5) Is the whole thing unified? Are parts arranged in a logical or coherent sequence?
6) Is there a beginning? A middle? An ending? Were they too long, too short or about right?
7) Were the paragraphs and sentences clear and readable?
8) What was happening to you as you were reading?
9) What were the emotions you felt?
10) Which characters made an impression? Why?
11) Was there enough conflict to keep you going? Too much?
12) How would someone different from you react to this story? The characters?
13) What do you feel the writer is trying to accomplish? Are they hitting you over the head? Trapping you? Preaching? Surprising you?
14) Were the paragraphs and sentences clear and readable?
While we all enjoy positive feedback, our best writing develops from quality feedback that helps us hone and shape our material. A simple, “that’s great” doesn’t give us the edge we need to improve and create something that is remarkable and memorable.
Wayne Hastings is an author, speaker and business consultant. His latest book, The Way Back From Loss is available on Amazon and other fine booksellers.
CLICK HERE to gain access to Wayne’s “How To Write A Remarkable Book Proposal” and two step-by-step videos as Wayne walks you through the book proposal process.