Plotter or Pantser?
ROW80-2 -04/06 -Not springing ahead

ROW80-2 04/04 - Kickoff

Here we are, at another Round of Words in 80 Days. Time now to look at the year's goals, count up last round's accomplishments, and plan for the next round. 

My goals as a writer are simple: to write, to get better at it, and to publish some of it. This last round, the writing part was doing some Flash Fiction stories, finishing editing novel #2, and starting editing novel #3. To get better, I was in a critique group, read in my genre(s) with a critical eye, and tried out some tips I found in writing blogs. For publishing, I sent queries for novel #2 out to some 20 agents. Some have declined, and so far one asked for a complete manuscript.  

For this round, much the same. More Flash, more editing, more learning. And either try more agents or sign a contract! 

I have a question now for all y'all. How do you handle the case where a friend has a book you don't really think is very good, but would like a review. Do you give a bad review? Or no review, and pretend you're busy-busy? Or praise it anyway? Or do you just send them some constructive criticism instead? Which would you prefer as an author?

And finally, here's my latest, and slightly risque, Flash Fiction, Party Animal


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K. L. Schwengel

I guess it depends on how good of friends you are. I prefer brutal honesty, myself. With the knowledge that not every book is for every reader. I might think something is gawdawful, someone else might think it's wonderful. If the friend truly wants to grow as a writer, they need to take the good with the bad. Maybe a personal note to them, expressing your opinion on the book and including your review. If they want you to post it, then go ahead. I wouldn't give false praise. Are there good things about it that you could point out? The plot, the characters, the flow? That can take the sting out of an otherwise negative review.

Chris Loehmer Kincaid

I never like giving bad reviews, even if it is for a total stranger. I try to come up with something positive to say along with the negative. And a review for a friend? The last one, I did just ignore and not respond. The manuscript was so bad I couldn't finish it and luckily this person never got back to me. If it was me as the author, I would like some constructive criticism, but man, even that hurts. I guess there is no easy answer.
Best wishes on a good round, and only good reviews!


At this stage I would prefer constructive criticism more than even a good review. I've just asked a fellow writer for feedback - she prefers to do that rather than review.

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