Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday

This week's YA Highway Road Trip topic:

NaNoWriMo is starting! Writing a whole novel in one month is hard and you might need some motivation, but luckily, Sarah posted about writing coaches back in August. Today, we want to know:

What kind of writing coach do you need? When you have to coach friends, what kind of coach are you?

On Critique Circle, there is/was an unofficial group that calls/called themselves the Thick Skin Club. I was an unofficial member...mainly because I have mixed feelings about this idea.

On one hand, I've been blessed with some tough critters, even the tear-you-down-just-because-they-want-to types. They toughened my skin and opened my eyes to the fact that some people enjoy being critics. If/when I get published, I'm sure there will be plenty of those, and I won't be able to repond to them publicly without looking unprofessional.

On the other hand, I've been blessed with wonderfully supportive critters/betas. Also, the kindly honest, the brutally honest, those who've connected with my work and those who haven't. I'm so grateful to all of them.

In short, I want/need/appreciate any response to my work, as I feel like I learn from all of it.

As for what kind of writer coach I am, I'm pretty honest...somewhere between gentle honest and brutally honest, depending on the writer. I use a lot of "This feels..." and "It seems like..." statements to make it clear I'm expressing my opinions. I'll always find something positive to say at the end, but I only give inline  compliments if I feel moved to do so.

What About You? What are your coaching wishes and do you return in kind?

Oh, if anyone is wondering, I've been offline this week because of internet problems (due to five inches of pre-Halloween snow...ack!) I'll be posting my How Many Have You Read/Listened To Contest on Friday.


  1. I too am of the opinion that any feedback, positive or negative, is good feedback. I don't want people to tell me what they think I want to hear, or to tell me something nice to balance out the bad. I'm interested in what they thought as they read. And if they thought nothing good, I need to know that.

  2. "They toughened my skin and opened my eyes to the fact that some people enjoy being critics."

    This is a great revelation and will definitely be able to carry you through the entire critique process, from critique groups to professional critics.

  3. This is true. We learn from both the good and bad feedback. Great advice on giving feedback too.

  4. YES! The positive yet brutal honesty coach!

    And I'll definitely be back for the contest. :)

  5. Sounds like you're the kind of coach I love having--honest, but realizing that critiques can be subjective. I love harsh critiquers, too. Good luck surviving the snow!

  6. At this point, I like honesty with gentleness. It's all in how it is said. And I try to beta/crit the same way. Sometimes our hardest crits, that send us into whirls of discouragement, end up being the best ones!

  7. I prefer my crits direct and to the point. Still, that does not give them the excuse to tear into my writing willy nilly. In other words, I prefer them reasonable.

    As for the kind I am, I took to asking what someone needs before critting, since I tend to be no nonsense. :-)