3 ways your readers can give feedback on your writing (and 3 ways you can receive it!)

As we prepare for the “10,000 & 10” Novel Writing Challenge, which involves writing 10,000 words and asking 10 people to read your work, some are wondering what, exactly, their readers will be required to do.

Great question!

The only requirement is that, at some point during the month, they read what you wrote. Beyond that, you are welcome to ask for feedback as you write, and they are welcome to provide it, but it’s certainly not a requirement. Some writers love getting feedback as they work (think blog comments, for example!), others want little to none until their manuscripts are complete.

So it’s really up to you. We don’t want anyone—writers or readers—feeling uncomfortable or pressured. We just want you to write, and let all those great ideas flow out through your keyboard!

But if you do want feedback, what’s the best way for readers to give it? And how should you receive it?

Read on for some handy-dandy tips!

Special thanks to Challenge participant Liberty Henwick for the spot-on tips that follow. Her blog, Liberty on the Lighter Side, is a must-follow assortment of beautifully written pieces on a variety of topics: parenting, life in Ireland, her upbringing in South Africa—even grocery shopping! Check it out.

Here’s her advice.

Advice to the writer (you!):

  1. Have a thick skin and be willing to listen to the suggestions your readers make with an open mind, so that they feel at liberty to be completely honest. You don’t want them to hide the painful truths!
  2. Don’t take criticism personally, it’s not you but your writing that is being critiqued. It’s not unlikely that your work will need improvement—it will hardly ever be perfect the first time.
  3. You don’t have to take all advice on board. Sometimes you can stand by what you write if you feel strongly that there’s a good enough reason for it.

Advice to the reader on how to give honest and constructive criticism:

  1. Highlight any confusing passages and language that doesn’t make sense.
  2. Point out sections that are boring.
  3. Write down questions you have about the story so far that you’d like to see answered before the ending.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks, Liberty!

Do you have any advice for tackling a writing challenge, or giving and receiving feedback? Share it with us! E-mail it to me—I’ll post it on this blog and feature your name and a link to your writing.

With all the signups for this Writing Challenge, I’m getting excited!

Based on the sheer number of writers signing up, the upcoming “10,000 & 10” Novel Writing Challenge is going to be, in a word…

Awesome!

What is it? It’s your chance to write 10,000 words of your novel, and have 10 people read it.

Don’t miss this opportunity to start—or continue—that novel you’ve been meaning to write. Getting in on this first-ever Challenge will give you a huge head start (and confidence boost), as well as…an audience! Those 10 readers can continue to follow your progress even after the Challenge is over, helping you grow your readership.

You could even become an award-winning author in the process.

Writing 10,000 words in a month, while challenging, shouldn’t be overwhelming. That’s just over 300 words a day—which means if you can write a few paragraphs each day, you’ve got this.

And as long as you know 10 people—family, friends, co-workers—who would be glad to help you out by reading your work, consider that part all but done.

A big project like writing a novel is best tackled one step at a time, and here’s your chance to dive right in.

Official registration is not quite open yet (soon, very soon—I’m putting some finishing touches on the Challenge site, and it’s almost ready for you), but in the meantime, you can get updates here:

www.chapterbuzz.com/challenge-updates

You’ll be the first to know when registration opens!

Want to be an award-winning writer by next month? Here’s how

It’s official! We’ll be presenting authors with awards for excellence in several categories during March’s “10,000 & 10” Novel Writing Challenge.

What does this mean for you?

It means that you could be a regular writer one day, and an award-winning writer literally the next.

Many writers assume that in order to receive an award, they need not just a published book, but a slew of good reviews, and the patience to slog through a lengthy submission process. That’s not always the case! The truth is, you can win an award at any stage of the writing process, including when you’re working on your first draft. An award is an award, no matter when you win it!

We’ll be recognizing both raw writing ability and how well your manuscript-in-progress is received by readers during the Challenge. Remember, part of the Challenge is to ask 10 people to read your work.

If you are the recipient of one of our awards, and you go on to finish your book and publish it, guess what? As soon as your book is published, you’ll be an award-winning author with an award-winning book on your hands. Now that’s exciting!

These babies could be yours—with the name of your award on them, of course!

These babies could be yours—with the name of your award on them, of course!

We’ll even send you a roll of embossed gold foil stickers for the cover of your book, so no matter where you’re showing it off—book fair or writing conference, for example—readers will see it’s an award winner and be more likely to pick it up.

Details forthcoming. Sign up for Challenge updates here:
www.chapterbuzz.com/challenge-updates

Care to share? Those social buttons below make it easy!

When it comes to writing and publishing books, THIS is how you make things happen

Lots of activity and buzz in our writer community this week!

Tiffany Doran would like some feedback on two of her children’s books, geared towards kids 5–9 years old. “One, I would like to have as a series and the other one will not be,” she explains in our networking group. “I need some feedback on these. Would anyone like to help?”

Nikki Young has re-designed her writing website and wants to know what you think. She’s also giving away a free short story e-book, which is an intro to her upcoming novel, The Mystery of the Disappearing Underpants. It’s due out in April—and wow…check out the awesome cover!

And speaking of awesome covers…

Vicki Roberts just published her latest work, Oldsters. “It’s perfect inside and out,” she declares. “Took three proofs to get it right, but worth it!”

The writers in our community aren’t just talking the talk, they’re walking the walk and making things happen.

Join us!

Get your invite to our Facebook discussion & networking group here:
www.mydreambookteam.com/community

Are you in a “writing rut”? Here’s what to do

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
—Eleanor Roosevelt

There’s a fundamental desire dwelling deep in our hearts as writers: we all want people to read and like what we’ve written. That’s why a lot of us have blogs, right? To get more people to read, and then watch the “likes” roll in? It means people are enjoying our work.

But often, we hide—in plain sight, which is actually possible—by not letting what we truly want to express come out through our writing. Even though we are actively blogging, we may be stifling what we really want to say. You know, hiding in plain sight.

Maybe you’re writing a novel and your readers just aren’t connecting. Maybe you feel you need many more blog followers before you even think about publishing anything—just to feel more confident about your writing. Maybe you’re “all out of ideas,” and experiencing writer’s block.

You might be in a rut. It happens to me, too.

Why does it happen? Because of fear. Because the alternative is to make yourself vulnerable through your writing, and when you do that, you’re inviting deep hurt, disappointment, and the terrifying possibility of failure.

That may sound dramatic, but for so many of us, it’s real. These are genuine fears lurking just below the surface of what we present to the world. And it’s another way we’re hiding in plain sight.

How to get past this?

Step outside your comfort zone, and get “real.” As cheesy as it sounds, write something from the heart. Say what you want to say, and don’t worry about what your readers might think. If you have a blog, post something that you consider risky, and see what happens.

No matter what happens, you’ll be a stronger person and a better writer for it. Just remember to rinse and repeat, because once is not enough.

Fear of feedback?

If you’re wary of receiving feedback on your writing—and hesitant to even ask anyone to read your work—here’s a counterintuitive way to conquer those fears: Enter the “10,000 & 10” Novel Writing Challenge, starting on March 1. You can read all about it here, and sign up for updates here.

The idea behind this? Stare down your fears, take a step outside your comfort zone, and remember Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice: do something every day that scares you!

Comment below: what’s one step you can take today?

It’s growing! A writing challenge that involves all of us

More and more writers are hopping on board for the first ever “10,000 & 10” Novel Writing Challenge this March!

I’m beaming. Why?

It’s heartening to know so many are eager to rise to the challenge and make headway on their novels—10,000 words of headway, to be exact. And the opportunity to have at least 10 people read it, and even provide some initial feedback, is alluring.

Now, all we need is you.

If you think you can write 10,000 words during the month of March, and ask 10 people you know to be your first readers, you’re well on your way.

Here’s everything you need to know.

If 10,000 words sounds like a lot, look at it this way: that’s less than 350 words each day. And in my post on micro-goals, this is exactly the approach I recommend. When you break down a large writing task into smaller ones, it looks a whole lot more manageable.

Today, take the very first step. Sign up for Challenge updates, and prepare yourself to have a solid chunk of your novel written by the end of March—plus a small reader base that we’ll help you grow as you continue to write!

Side note: feel free to share this post on Facebook with the buttons below…the more the merrier!

Don’t make this mistake when writing a novel! This 10,000-word Writing Challenge can help

Have you dreamed of writing a novel? Or are you already writing it?

Either way, join us for the event that is going to jump start your life as a published author.

It’s the “10,000 & 10” Novel Writing Challenge, and it starts on March 1st.

Your mission: write 10,000 words in a month, and get 10 people to read it.

As long as you know 10 people, that will be the easy part—all they have to do is read what you’ve written. The real challenge will be writing 10,000 words…but I know you’re up for it!

Want feedback from your readers? You got it. Don’t? That’s okay too. Some writers want continual feedback while they work, others only after completing a first draft.

That’s the beauty of the Challenge: you can do it either way.

But no matter what, you’ll have 10 readers, and that’s a great start. As you continue to write, we’ll make it easy to grow your readership.

Some writers will actually publish a book to Amazon without ever having asked a single person to read it and comment. Now, with zero readers and no feedback, they wonder why it’s not selling. Don’t make this mistake! Especially when it’s so easy to plant the seed of readership from the get-go.

So whether you’re just starting your novel, or are halfway done with your first draft, you can benefit from the “10,000 & 10” Novel Writing Challenge.

All writers are welcome.

Be the first to know how and when to register! Sign up for updates here.