I've sent Billie and Cooper's story to my writing friend for feedback and she has been picking it apart. Line by line she is telling me where, as a reader she is lost, confused or if something just doesn't work.
Is it helping? Um, yes!
The way she has done it, with constructive feedback and even with examples of rewording, she is showing me where my weaknesses are and how i need to strengthen my story.
Mostly, it has to do with my characters. At the end of chapter 3 she has said there is nothing to make her love either character. Like, yes, but love with the driving need to keeping reading. No.
And that is the point. Every story needs to have compelling characters, something about them that makes you the reader relate or want to root for them.
So, after a bit of a sulk, i've gone back to the beginning and picked apart my characters and the story to make them stronger.
The best part? By helping me she has told me it has made her more aware of her own writing. She is learning from helping.
I found that critiquing Nicole's story that it made me think more about mine, the structure, characters, conflict, even the choice of words about my own writing.
Critiquing teaches you so much about yourself, both as a reader and a writer.
The challenge for the writer is to take the feedback, either made by someone else or by themselves while giving feedback on other writers work, and make their writing better for it!
So, this post could really be a writing tip. Take the time to critique someone else's writing - preferrably in the same genre that you write, but that isn't essential. It will help you become a better writer.