Archives for the month of: November, 2012

(For those who missed it, you can read Part I here)

There is nothing in this world quite so precious as good feedback.  To anyone, in any creative field, feedback is a brief moment of calm in an endless storm.  This isn’t the pointless, vitriolic lashing of the average internet troll.  This is the proper, helpful feedback of someone who truly wants your work to get better and isn’t afraid to tell you when you’ve made a terrible mistake.  It’s why any creative individual, I think, needs to avoid ego-boosting ‘yes men’ at any cost.  The risks are many (hyper-inflated ego, destruction of artistic integrity), the rewards are illusory.

It’s why I’m thankful to still be in college and in a position to get the kind of super constructive feedback some people only dream about.  I feel the sweet spot for criticism falls around 10 people, though more always helps.  Fort this piece I received 20 pieces of feedback, and I’ve taken the liberty of deconstructing each of them and boiling them down to their key elements.  My goal here is to spot trends in what works for people and what doesn’t.  If 9 out of  20 people pick up on the same thing, that’s a problem that needs to be addressed.

So, hit the jump and let’s get to it.

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So, this post is going to be a little different.  I was recently tasked with writing a piece for a creative non-fiction class.  We were allowed to write about anything we wanted, so long as it was good and we actually knew what we were talking about.

I decided to write about handwriting instruments, specifically pens.  The piece ended up being about 2300 words, nothing to sneeze at, a little shy of the length of a Susan Orleans piece for the New Yorker.  I turned in my piece and it went over relatively well.  There were definitely some flaws, with most comments revolving around two or three paragraphs that really threw off the pacing.  I’ll point those out in a later post.  Anyway, this series will run through the complete revision process, from beginning to end, from the first draft all the way to final submission to a literary magazine or contest.

So, without further ado, hit the jump to read my piece.

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