Another obvious tip, and yet again, I find that it needs to be said.
There are three reasons for this statement, which I will outline below:
- Friends and Family are notoriously subject to positive bias
- Friends and Family might not be readers, and if they are, might not like your genre
- Friends and Family will not share your passion for writing, and thus will not want to read every rough draft and edit.
Let me explain why I say this. Firstly, your Friends and Family (most likely) like you, and don’t want to hurt your feelings with honest reviews and criticism. Thus, any feedback you receive from them will only serve to re-affirm your own thoughts about your writing. In my case, I was told that my writing was interesting and basically perfect.
This is obviously not the case, otherwise you would hear about me purchasing my own island (called Apotheon, obviously).
What I would rather have been told was that my writing was terrible, and how I could work on improving it (maybe then I would own Apotheon).
Secondly, the majority of my Friends and Family do not read Sci-fi or Fantasy. This meant that even if one of them did read Awakening, they were reading an unfamiliar or disliked genre and thus would probably not understand all the tropes and references in the book.
My advice? Share your writing or book on Internet boards or with book clubs that have the same interests and genres that you do. The feedback you receive will be more honest and helpful, and generally free from bias (because people on the internet don’t really care about your feelings, trust me).
Finally, very few people will understand or appreciate the passion you have for writing. Sure, they may listen to you drone on and on about character arcs and themes, but they will not engage in meaningful conversation. For me, this also meant that my Friends and Family only wanted to read Awakening once it was “finished”. As any writer can tell you, having an editor involved from an early stage helps find and fix story and pacing problems and generally reduces the amount of editing and rewriting required after you complete your first draft.
Again, finding a competent editor who is willing to read the same story with minor variations and give meaningful opinions about the story and characters is vital. If you lack someone like that in your social circle, I suggest either hiring a professional or looking online for someone who is willing to work with you.
Thanks for listening! My next writing tip is “If You Can, Do It Yourself”, look forward to it!
And remember, even if no one believes in you, Never Lose Your Stride!