Feedback Gifts

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by Tim Burdick on 04 January, 2016


Christmas is over, but the presents keep arriving. When I asked friends for feedback on a new story about an elf, I wasn’t sure how many would respond. But for over the last few weeks, the constructive feedback has arrived from around the globe.

A Czech Friend found the color of the elf –to be unexpected. Also, the story is about cooking soup so she felt the final meal preparation to be rushed and unclear.

A hometown friend gave specific notes about when the main character introduces himself and clarifiying plot points. She also found the word “nasty“ a little harsh for little children. Ooops. And she suggested a target reader age range 4 - 7 age.

One friend spied missing commas.

My English friend read it to her child who didn’t quite get it and raised the issue about my target audience.

Another American friend asked Who is your target audience? He gave me feedback about picture books, "read me to sleep" book, and how my story would or wouldn’t fit into these categories. While with a learning to read book, my story had potential if I broke it down into scenes.

Another hometown’s friend had his kids: a preteen and teen read the story. They both enjoyed it, found it funny and were able to understand and follow the plot. Naturally, the teen found the story too short and underdeveloped while the pre-teen asked about the target age of the reader (5-6 year olds) and could see it as a picture book. She also thought it gross (meant to be) and was happy for the main character at times in the story.

Naturally, they raised a variety of issues: character development, skin color, and specific word choice. Of course, I reflected on their comments and made changes as I thought were necessary. When I finish polishing my story, I can research my book’s target audience so that I can submit it to the right publisher.

Finally, while having a pre-Christmas dinner with an Irish friend, he commented on how he hoped there would be more adventures. Frankly, I hadn’t considered it. But, who knows? This story could be the beginning of a series-- thanks to my children and adult readers.

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