Author Asks For Clarification

... at the end of the formal review input of a WritersWorkshop, the author may be anxious about some of the things that were said. Until now, the author has been a FlyOnTheWall, but we can't have a SafeSetting unless the author is given a chance to speak (beyond just reading the work as in AuthorReadsTheWork).

* * *

Not all reviewer comments stand alone.

In a WritersWorkshop, reviewers are providing comments on-the-fly, comments that may not fully articulate the reviewer's rationale.

Reviewer comments can be ambiguous, confusing, or unclear in many ways.

It doesn't serve the author (and the work) well if the author leaves before the reviewers clarify their comments.


The AuthorAsksForClarification after the moderator calls an end to the formal comments.

Note that this is not an opportunity for the author to clarify his or her position with the reviewers, since the pattern must stand on its own. The information flows from the reviewers to the author, not vice versa.

If authors disagree with any reviewer conclusions or remarks, they should take them away from the writer's workshop in silence. Such disagreement or remarks provide information for the author, information the author can use to clarify the pattern on the next iteration. By mutual agreement, the author and reviewer can discuss deeper issues (and, particularly, technical issues) in the afterglow of the workshop.

* * *

This brings the ceremony to closure and ties up all the formal loose ends. Further patterns, like ThankTheAuthor, provide more complete emotional closure. The author can now take the feedback and iterate further on the pattern, making SelectiveChanges.

NEXT: ThankTheAuthor

-- JimCoplien 1996/8/26
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