for the Creatives, Musings

A little feedback can go a long way

Last week I shared the survey results for my quirky meta murder mystery book title. Maybe you want feedback but there’s no way you’ll hear from 50 people on a survey like I did (I asked thousands of people for that help.)

But I wanted to share that

I already thought I knew how the results would go before they ever happened.

Because before I created the survey, I asked a dozen people in a group and heard from about half of them. And the exact same results happened on a smaller scale – most liked “Memoir of a Murder” but for reasons that didn’t coincide with my story. Two people liked “I Know You Like a Murder” in a way that resonated with my story. And this response is like #lifegoals for a writer here:

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My friend Laura posted this – it wasn’t an analytical response as to all the reasons one title is superior to the other. It was an instinctive gut-level reaction, something that tugged at her that she couldn’t get out of her mind.

That’s what an author wants of a story, and I got that response just from the title. I had to pick that title! and as you saw from the survey results I posted last week, that reaction multiplied in the 50-ish people who responded there.

Mostly I just wanted to geek out and publicly squeal and gush over this comment, because let’s be real, it’s everything I hope my book will be <3

But let’s throw in a little encouragement inspiration for you too while we’re at it 🙂 If you’re not sure on a decision, just ask a small group of friends. But don’t just ask the multiple choice – ask why the choice they made and why not the other choices.

Then watch for the emotionally gripping response, not some logical reasoning. You’ve got your reader hooked when they respond from the heart instead of their head. You don’t want them to think “That’s smart,” you want them to think “I can’t let this go.”

for the Writers, Mental Health, Musings

My Characters Respond to Your Problems

My goal of writing 1000 words this weekend flopped. Due to a minor personal crisis. Sure, I could write through crises, I mean that’s what we’re supposed to do. But I was a slacker.

Lucky for me, I was venting my problems to my friend and unofficial business manager, Yasmeen. Out of the blue she said, “What would Analiese say to you right now?”

“Suck it up!” was my response.

And despite my not writing practically anything this weekend, there was one thing I wrote:

What My Characters Would Say About My [& Your] Problems

In case you wondered what characters think, in case you wondered what it’s like to pour your problems out at a Freaks Anonymous meeting, in case you wanted some group therapy, here ya go:

    • Mrs. Trencher – “Hush hush, someone may hear. We’ll get you to a Doctor, get this fixed right up.”
    • Mr. Trencher – *buries head in book*
    • Dr. Wise – “Is that all? Not fascinating at all. Dr. Evil can fix you right up.”
    • Dr. Evil – “Is that all? I don’t give a wit about you, all I care about is ol’ Gep, but of course I can get you a right fascinating problem for that coot Wise if I really wanted.”
    • Geppetto – “There, there. I’m sure we can work this out for all of us. You just need family. We’ll be your family” *hands over lifelong contract for me to sign*
    • Sylas – “What’d you expect, a couple freaks like us?”
    • Analiese – “Suck it up, you spoiled rich brat. Suck. It. Up. Poooor you, you have it soooo hard. Deal with it.”
    • Phoebe – “Well I suppose I can’t say I understand where you’re at. Never will, never can at least. That must be rough, I’m so sorry.”
    • Nick – “It’ll be a’ight. Give it time. You’ll get used to us.”
    • Sullivan – *nods head empathetically, saunters off ‘cause no one’s looking*
    • RaeChae – “Get over yourself, we need to do something. There’s a bigger problem. Get rid of big problem, maybe little you problem goes away. Now, what’s the plan?”
    • Jasper – *hands The Forgettable some paper and pen*
    • The Forgettable – *scribbles note* “Read this once I’m gone.” *Leaves* Note says: “For Freedom: get out now!”
    • Narrator – “Maybe it’s good I can’t remember. Maybe I’d have more problems. But maybe having a reason for problems is worth it…?”
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    • Julia – “Wow, you just throw it all out there, yeah? Dump it on anyone who will listen? Hmmm. Well, let’s get you out of this mess.” *leaps right into the ‘mess’ before making a plan*

What About YOU?

What do you think your favorite character (not just from my unpublished book) would say about life’s problems?
 
And which of my characters do you think you’re most like when responding to someone’s life problems?