Part of a series about writing your script: Introduction. / Draft Long. / Listen to Your Story. / Find the Heart. / Find the Beginning. / Find the Ending. / Edit Ruthlessly. / Get Feedback. / Build Your Own Process.
You have a lot of options concerning how you ask for feedback. You might go the most straightforward route and just ask for whatever thoughts someone has in response to your story. But you can also request more specific feedback. You might ask what they think is the heart of the story. What do you think of the ending? What sort of images might work for this story? If you’re asking a family member or an old friend, you might even ask them if they have any images or videos you might be able to use for your story. You could ask them if you’re leaving anything out that they think belongs in the story. If your feedback person is one of the story’s characters, you might ask them how they feel about how you’re representing them.
Some people will give you bad advice. Some people will give you great advice. Your best strategy might be to experiment with whose advice you seek and how you ask for it.
I also want to encourage you to be careful about where you’re getting your advice. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea to get advice from a certain type of person; you just need to remember that not all the feedback you get is going to make your story better. Some people will give you bad advice. Some people will give you great advice. Your best strategy might be to experiment with whose advice you seek and how you ask for it. The advice you get from an experienced digital storyteller will likely be very different than what a close friend may suggest. It just depends on what you’re asking for feedback about, and why you’re asking in the first place.
And finally, be generous and gracious when asking for feedback. Be sure to make it clear that you’re going to be happy to return the favor when someone asks you for feedback on their story. Always be ready to accept the opportunity to offer feedback when someone does ask you. And once you’ve heard someone’s feedback, remember to thank them for it. And if you want to go even a little bit further, let the person know which part of their feedback was most valuable to you and how it will likely have an effect on your story.
Do you have of your own stories or advice about asking people for their input about your stories? What part of the process do you find other people’s ideas most useful to you? Do you have any examples of people giving you unhelpful or negative feedback? How did you handle it? Feel free to offer your own experience in the comment section below. 🙂