You’ve figured out who to ask and what to ask. Now you’ve received your feedback. Do not read it. I repeat… DO NOT READ IT! Let it sit for a day, two days, maybe a week. The longer you let everything sit, the more objective you’ll be when you read it.
When you finally do read it, there will be three types of comments
1) Great advice that you can’t wait to follow
2) Great advice that makes you a bit defensive
3) Advice you know you can’t use
1 is easy. With respects to 2, ask yourself why you feel defensive. Did your reader suggest you cut your favourite part? Would the story be better off? With 2 comments you can let the work sit for longer or save another copy of your work to test out the changes. You can always go back to the original if you feel it’s not working.
With 3 remember, not everyone excels in separating the subjective from the objective. Saying a section is boring because there isn’t any fighting is different than saying it was boring because there was nothing to help or hinder your main character.
After you have made edits to your piece you can either give it back to the person who made the comments or give it to someone new (or both) Just be sure and thank your readers even if the only comments they give you are 3s. They still took the time to read and comment on your work.
Next article – How to give feedback to others