A few weeks ago, during a Zoom critique group meeting, Uma said something about feedback that made me grab a pen. It’s worth remembering when it comes to my own writing and when I comment on someone else’s:
Maybe it’s not the time to look at comments literally but to look under the skin and see what is tripping people up. What is the story really about? What is getting in the way?
When we give (and get) feedback, while the suggestions might not be spot on, they often point out places where something isn’t working. Looking at feedback for the bigger picture is a way to see into the heart of the story — what’s on the page. What’s working. What’s getting in the way.
Writers, how might you move beyond the specific direction a critiquer has offered and look under the story’s skin?