Sitting here, reading reviews for SixFold, and I’ve come to one inescapable conclusion. I’m not giving good notes. Not like I’m giving bad notes that aren’t useful. (Though how Sixfold encourages editing responses is completely suspect and not quite useful.)
I put my name on reviews, so whoever it is that’s reading my words knows it and can chose to find me, if they so wish to.
If you’ve written your story and submitted it, you don’t need to hear criticism from me about whether or not the story is any good. You should already know if it’s good. So much of the junk that’s submitted doesn’t read like anyone’s ever bothered to read it. Or make revisions. I’ve posted blogs here that are in roughly the same shape, but I wrote them in about 30 minutes.
I don’t feel the need to tiptoe around my reviews. If they need to be harsh, they’ll be harsh. Most of the stories I read had great ideas, but they’re horribly executed. I know a lot of it comes down to preference of writing style. Anyone who’s read this blog long enough knows I’m not a fan simpleton writing.
If the person who wrote and submitted the piece wants praise, I’m sure they’ll get it from other people. But, they asked for criticism, so they’ll get it. They get nothing from my coddling them.
Sure, my approach could be better, but if you wasted my time, I’m going to be as harsh as I feel is warranted. In the end, criticizing someone generally doesn’t go over any better if you try to be too polite about it. Either they miss the point or they’re just as hurt.
The main focus should be discerning what portions of the reviews are useful and which ones to disregard. I try not to waste anyone’s time.