Mulling Over Feedback

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in Writing Inspiration | 8 comments

Mulling Over Feedback

As I was considering a title for this post, I looked up the word “mull.” The first definition is “to grind or mix thoroughly; pulverize.” I found this fascinating. If I was mulling feedback as opposed to mulling over feedback, my approach would be quite different :-).

On May 29 I celebrated sending out a draft of my novel, Fade Away, to my agent. Over three years in the making, I was ecstatic to finally have sent it off.

She got back to me on June 8. Ten days later. Yes, TEN DAYS. If you aren’t familiar with the children’s publishing world, this timing is, like, speed-of-light timing. No joke.

Her comments were so deep and insightful, so detailed and precise, that I felt like I was getting a mini writing workshop in my In Box. It was astounding. It also made me realize that (a) she has a lot of faith in me as a writer and (b) I’m (finally) up to the task, having worked hard to improve my craft over the last few years.

In March I wrote about my first pass revision process. The second and third passes were focused more on moving scenes around and smoothing out the narrative.

This time around, I need to do a lot of mulling. My agent said a few things that my critique group had said, including having Sheridan, my main character, make the decision/take action in the climax rather than another character prompting her. I thought I’d addressed this, but realized I’m not quite there.

For me, mulling over feedback involves reading through all of the comments two to three times. On the first read, I’m just taking it in. On the second and third reads, I’m highlighting suggestions or questions that resonate and also writing my own responses and questions – both to myself and to my agent/editor.

Once I get more clarity and have a game plan for the next round of revisions, I’ll provide more details here so you can benefit from my process.

In the meantime, wish me luck. She had A LOT of comments and excellent questions for me to consider!

Hey there!


  1. Congratulations, Denise! Good luck with the revisions. I look forward to reading the final product:)

    Karin Larson
    (met you at the SCBWI Dakotas conference)

    • Just got back from vacay a few days ago and catching up. Thanks so much! I’m having a call with my agent soon and hope to get back to it soon. How’s your writing going?

      • Hope you had a great vacation! My writing seems to be moving in fits and spurts this summer. Too much chaos but such is life. Working on finding a better balance:)

        • Back from vacation #2! Both were awesome. I can totally relate to fits and spurts. I always think summer will be easier because there aren’t as many activities, but there’s always something! Are you finding that balance? If so, please share! I’m trying to get back to write first, do other stuff after :-).

          • I’m glad you are having good vacations:) Baseball will be over after a state tourney this weekend so am hoping to get a quick trip to MN in early August before school starts.

            I’m still in fits and spurts and not balancing well. I totally agree that getting back to writing first and other stuff after is the way to go. I seem to be having a harder time with that this summer but did get my buns out of bed at an ungodly hour this morning to workout so have been much more productive thus far today.

            How is it going for you?

          • You’re my new inspiration :-). Good for you. I got a few workouts in last week, but most of my time has been spent getting the RMC-SCBWI Fall Conference registration ready. We are using the system on the new web site so have run into some challenges. But I’m determined to write at least one chapter of my new YA this weekend so I can have something to show for the work-in-progress I’m bringing to an SCBWI LA Conf intensive! Good luck to both of us!

          • You go, girl…get that chapter written:)
            Good luck with your conference!

          • Thank you!

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