Lou (heffermonkey) wrote in 1_million_words,

Feedback - when to let it go and when to defend?

Having just read some fairly scathing feedback on one of my fics I'm feeling in a bit of a quandary as to how to respond.

Part of me wants to defend the writing/characters/direction of the piece.
Part of me feels what is the point because it's not going to change your opinion.
Part of me thinks, when people write this kind of feedback that, whilst I appreciate the time taken to write it, if you feel that strongly about hating the fic/thestoryline/the depiction why read it in the first place?

Often I have to take a step back before launching into full blown defence mode - after all, we put our work out there not only just to entertain, but as writers we like the feedback because it boosts our confidence, it feeds the muses, it can even help us when given as a criticism.  But I've always maintained that there ways of giving criticism without ripping a story to shreds in order to do so.  As writers, we can emotionally invest our time and effort into creating worlds/scenarios, the fiction itself and to have that beaten with a stick because someone doesn't like what you've written is very tough to take.

When you're having a particularly shit week and writing is a form of therapy in a sense to escape some daily stresses, waking up to a scathing ripping down of you work isn't exactly a boost to your day.

So how do you deal with the not so pretty feedback - it isn't all going to be encouraging, amazing and I totally get that.  I've had some enjoyable conversations/debates with people with different opinions or taken on board advice and moved stories in new directions because of feedback.    Do you maintain the rule that you reply to every comment/feedback a person leaves you, no matter the content? Do you take the hit silently and take it on the chin? Where do you draw the line between defending and possibly getting into a back and forth debate on the subject where neither party backs down?

Putting these questions/thoughts out there because it's something as writers we deal with every day.   I'm still not sure how I'm going to respond to these latest comments - not sure I have the time to invest in a long drawn out explanation about a series that's been  five years in the making in order to justify one scene the reader considers wrong.
Tags: misc: thinky-thoughts, thinky thoughts: writing
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