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Part: TWO Writers' Workshop > Fly on the Wall

Chapter TWELVE. Fly on the Wall

The question we're exploring is how to get the best review of work while helping the author mature as a writer. There are two extremes: face-to-face, interactive discussions of a work between the author and reviewers, and anonymous review. Neither of these is a workshop setting, and both are routinely used by writers, creative or technical. The results are often good, but bad things can easily happen.

Many face-to-face reviews turn into discussions between the author and the reviewer when, for example, a comment by a reviewer spurs an explanation by the author, and sometimes these discussions turn into debates or arguments, with the author defending the work and the reviewers responding with justifications of their position, and so on. Debates and arguments can easily drift from the page to personalities, and whether the author can “prevail” in such exchanges is not important to the work at hand—what's important is whether the work by itself does its intended job, be that to convey information as in a technical article or to convey poetic truth.


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