Adeline finally set down the paper after reading it to her friend.
“How did you like my story?” She asked.
“Well,” said her friend, “It was okay, but it could have had some more, you know, conflict?”
Adeline’s mood drooped like chewy bacon.
Taking input on your writing can sometimes be hard, or even discouraging, but it’s important to take it well. But what can you do to help accept the criticism? Well, here are a few tips you can use to when taking input!
1. Be Open To Input- One of the most important things when someone is giving you input is to actually be open to the input. I don’t mean that you have to take every little piece of criticism. I just mean you need to politely listen to the advice of the person giving input, maybe write down some notes, and say “Thanks for the input! I’ll think about it.” Sometimes it can be hard to physically listen to input. If so, you could try tip #2 below:
2. Get It On Paper- Before you read your story to your friend, give them a piece of paper and a pen and ask them to write down any input on the story. That way you can read the input and you wont have to listen to them tell it to you, which can be stressful to some people. They can give it to you after you read it to them, or after they read it. Then you can read it later.
Bonus Idea- In today’s tech world, e-mailing and instant messaging has become much more common than other communication forms such as letter-writing. Instead of directly reading your story to your friend, you could e-mail or IM your story to them, and after they read it they can email (or IM) their input back to you. It would also be a good way to get input from people who live far away from you.
3. Only Ask People You Know And Trust- This rule is definitely not for everybody, but if you are the type of person who starts tearing up when somebody starts listing the weak points in your story, you might want to consider only asking people who can gently give their input, and who you know and trust to be truthful about the parts of your story that need some fix-ups, but who will still lay out their input in a way that helps and doesn’t hurt you (at least, not too badly). I used to be pretty sensitive to input on my stories, and would only share the stories with my mom or dad. Sometimes I wouldn’t even share with them! As time has gone on and I have had to present more of my work to other people, I’ve gotten more confident and less worried about presenting, and have shared my work with more and more people (I mean, now with my blog the whole world of internet surfers can see my blog posts!). But I still can be pretty withdrawn about sharing unfinished stories!
4. Be Thankful- Even if you didn’t hear what you may have been wanting or expecting to hear, be sure to thank the person or people who gave you input. Remember that they took time out of their day to listen to your story and give you their ideas of how you can improve your story, so give them a big smile and a “Thank-You!”.
I hope this post helped you! Do have any tips that you use when you are taking input? Do have any questions? Let me know in the comments box!
God’s love be with you!