15.51: Feedback—When to Listen, and When to Ignore, with special guest Mahtab Narsimhan

Your Hosts: Dan, Howard, Mahtab, and Brandon

We’re often taught that the best critique group feedback is reactions to the writing, rather than  advice for fixing it. But prescriptive feedback—critiques that include suggestions for you how to might rewrite something—is an important part of the process.

In this episode we discuss how we curate our critique groups and filter their feedback to improve our writing, and our experiences with these groups.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson


The Random Critique Exercise: 
1) You and a writer friend each prepare a critique of a different thing.
2) File the serial numbers off (character names, locations, etc) and swap critiques.
3) Treat this critique from your friend as if it was for your manuscript. Discover what wrong advice looks like, and how often a broken watch might actually be correct.

What Unites Us, by Dan Rather

6 thoughts on “15.51: Feedback—When to Listen, and When to Ignore, with special guest Mahtab Narsimhan”

  1. What were the online communities that Mahtab mentioned for middle grade/YA writers? I didn’t quite catch it and I’d love to check them out.


  2. The critical quad, Dan, Howard, Mahtab, and Brandon, talked about feedback, how to pick and choose, reactions versus prescriptive feedback, arrange your readers, finding the right critiquers, the feedback echo chamber versus brilliant fresh perspectives… lots of good ideas and discussion that you can read in the transcript in the archives now.

  3. An interesting topic might be how writing groups can hinder writers.

    Delicate subject but I’m sure Writing Excuses can handle it logically.

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