Editing

The Experience Of Giving And Receiving Feedback

My brain melted. I spent an evening reading two stories and trying to critique them, constructively of course.

I’ve forgotten how much work giving feedback is, especially to people you hardly know.

I keep going back and forth between I’m being too harsh or honest. Besides, I would want people to be truthful by providing useful suggestions, not tell me my piece is perfect, which everyone did in elementary and high school.

I like to think I have a good grasp of grammar, so I can’t help myself when I see a comma splice or a dangling modifier. But I also realize grammar isn’t always the main issue. Writers want and need feedback on style, flow, etc.

Editing is a lot of work. It’s one thing to edit your own story. It’s a whole other beast entirely when you have to critique someone else’s.

I try to give feedback I’d like to receive. So I do what I can to balance content suggestions with grammatical corrections.

Ideally, I could sit down with someone and talk to them face to face about their work. But when does that ever happen?

On the other side, getting feedback is great but still a challenge.

I hate my ego sometimes for getting in the way.

I don’t always apply every comment. At times, I am dismissive or defensive.

It helps to get an outside perspective on your writing. And I think having strangers critique your story has its advantages. They don’t know you like your family and friends do. Most of the time, they don’t have to go out of their way to protect your feelings.

But I’m careful with my comments. I include question marks following my suggestions. I say maybe and perhaps so many times, it’s not even funny. I tend to add a disclaimer at the beginning or end, saying something along the lines of take what works, toss what doesn’t. If anything is unclear, ask me to clarify.

I guess I’m well aware my ego is big but fragile, yet I don’t want to hurt anyone else’s because I’ve been on both sides of the proverbial coin.

Blogging · Writing

How Being A Blogger Made Me A Better Writer

I don’t know many things, but I know that blogging has improved my writing. So I figured after four years of managing this blog, I should write a post explaining how being a blogger made me a better writer. And continues to. Let’s see where this goes.

Brevity

Before blogging, I used to be somewhat lengthy and wordy at times. But I’ve cut down on that. Get my point across. Use as many words as I need to. No more, no less.

Grammar

I try to use good grammar all the time. Blogging isn’t an exception. I’ve also run into instances where I’m unsure of a grammatical rule while I’m writing a blog post and had to look it up. It never hurts to have greater exposure to grammar.

Style

Everyone has their own style, even though it takes plenty of time to develop.

Voice

Being on WordPress allowed me to discover myself on many fronts. And because I aim to blog every day, I have had a lot of chances to figure out who I am.

How has blogging helped you as a writer?

Reading · Writing

I Love This And I Haven’t Even Read It

I know I’m late, but to be fair, I haven’t seen this book anywhere else until today.

Sorry the picture got cut off. I’m an aspiring writer, not a hopeful photographer.

I have plenty of reading and rereading to do. Yes I love this little guy and I haven’t even read the entire thing yet. But I can’t wait.  The Elements Of Style

Writing

How To Get To Know A Writer Better

Who better to give you advice on getting to know a writer better than an actually writer herself. This is for anybody who wants to know more about writers or anyone who is puzzled by the existence and enigma that is the writer. Maybe you’re in love with a writer. Maybe you want to get on their good side. Maybe you need insider information on a particular writer. Whatever the case may be, I hope one, if not all, of the following will aid you on your quest to uncover the truth.

So how do you get to know a writer (better?!)?

  • Google them.
    Duh. It’s quick, easy, and will yield plenty of results on any real writer. You might discover a piece they published, a blog they run, or a social media account dedicated to the fine art of writing. Even better, you might find all three! Trust me. Google me. Type in HERMINIA CHOW into Google and then you’ll see that I’m not lying when I say any serious writer has something online with their name attached to it. However, every educated and intelligent writer is wary about what they post online. Writers throw caution to the wind when it comes to their reputation. You won’t find anything extremely scandalous or shameful by Googling a writer but you’ll find some things you wouldn’t have known otherwise. Try it. You may be surprised with what you find.
  • Read something written by them.
    How you get your hands on their diary is not my responsibility or my liability. Still, you’ll know much more about a writer if you can find a piece they wrote. Which come to think of it shouldn’t be too difficult. They are a writer. And last I checked, writers write. So read their poems, stories, plays, sonnets, etc. Analyze the diction, the tone, but most important of all, analyze the writer’s voice. I know this sounds like high school English all over again but how a writer writes speaks volumes about them. What they choose to write about is usually a reflection of their life. Reading a writer is as simple as reading what the writer has written, paying particular attention to content and style.
  • Last of all, if you’re willing/able to, TALK to the writer.
    Ask them questions. Be friendly, open, and non-judgmental. Writers don’t enjoy hostility. They don’t like having someone shoot down all their ideas either. Writers are good at not being wrong and because so few people accept and understand them well, writers want to have a conversation with someone who won’t judge them. Writers are far from perfect. But give them a chance and they’ll show you all the incredible things they are trying to perfect. Like their conversing skills.

When all is said and done, you may realize writers aren’t all that different. They have dreams and desires like everyone else. They have their share of strengths and weaknesses. Writers aren’t that scary to approach. And they want people to be their friends to. Writers are human.

Hey, if you get to know them, they’ll get to know you too.

Anyone want to sit down over a cup of coffee?