Encouragement vs Honesty - Page 6


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Thread: Encouragement vs Honesty

  1. #51
    I agree with Sam. If your stuff sucks, you need to know it, whether or not the critiquer can be polite about it. Any negative feedback stings. You get over it or you get out of the business. The hurt feelings fade, but the lessons will stay with you for life.

    I agree with Dale. You have to be honest. Not doing so wastes everyone's time. You can be encouraging, you can be tactful, you can do good writing in reaction to writing as well as for its own sake.

    A critique involves two people, so each one is unique. My position is that a newcomer who needs help with grammar and punctuation won't benefit much from a lecture on symbolism or atmosphere. On the other hand, someone with a typo or two doesn't need more than a word or two to indicate the oversight, but would appreciate some pointers on character development. In other words, tailor your crit to the recipient's skill level, be nice, but don't be overly nice.
    Secord Sound Arts has gone out of business

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  2. #52
    basically, if you want mollycoddled? hire a hooker. a hooker will tell you everything you want to hear. but if you really want to improve yourself?
    then actually WANT some feedback telling you what you're doing wrong. now, that's not to say that you should pay attention to all negative feedback.
    some people are morons. but if more than one person is telling you that there's a problem? you should listen.
    "Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.”

  3. #53
    "When one person calls you a jackass, ignore it. When three people call you a jackass, get a saddle. " (author unknown but I've heard it credited to Mark Twain)

    If you can't say something​ nice, then best be silent. --my mother.

    Dream big, fight hard, live proud!

  4. #54
    It reminds me of the film "Million Dollar Baby". There is the mentally handicapped guy who say he's going to be world champion one day and no matter what negative things other people said he kept on turning up to the gym. Then one day he actually got in to the ring and boxed which resulted in him getting beaten up physically and emotionally. He then never returns and it is the last anyone sees of him. So he learned himself that he's not cut out to box.
    I think that's how it should be with anything. Let people come to their own conclusions about these things. Most of the people on this site are hobbyists with ambitions anyway, so there's no need to trample. If someone is serious as can be about writing and ask for an honest critique then by all means give it to them, but honesty and nastiness can be very close. The excuse of 'letting someone know they're wasting their time' is toxic. It's their time and they can do any old shit they want to with it so don't waste your time telling them they're wasting their time.

    Sometimes the dream of being a writer is enough for people and I would be ashamed of myself or anyone else who trampled that dream for the sake of honesty.
    Apple Ice

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Nickleby View Post
    In other words, tailor your crit to the recipient's skill level, be nice, but don't be overly nice.
    This is pretty much what I have been trying to say. I am not saying that we need to coddle everyone.

    BUT...there is no reason to be overly harsh just for the sake of "honesty". That's just being an asshole because you can be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apple Ice View Post
    Sometimes the dream of being a writer is enough for people and I would be ashamed of myself or anyone else who trampled that dream for the sake of honesty.
    Exactly.
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” -Carl Sagan

    Real courage is found, not in the willingness to risk death, but in the willingness to stand, alone if necessary, against the ignorant and disapproving herd. --Jon Roland, 1976

    Have you checked out the Hidden Content

    Founder of the Pantsers United Group and member of the Fantasy Lords Group

    "Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful,
    insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows." - Walt Disney

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    Nobody can make you (generic) quit but you. Nobody can make you feel bad about yourself but you. You decide to feel beaten down and oppressed, if that's what you want to feel. You decide to let their words break you instead of make you. You have the power to take those harsh words and turn them into a fire that makes your belly ache and your heart roar. Or you can let them define who you are rather than who you can and should be.

    It's your choice.
    Sam, as much as I normally agree with you, in this case, I have to disagree.

    There comes a point where someone who is abused finally becomes convinced that they have no worth. Not to themselves or anyone else. The ONLY way to get out of that is to get out of the situation. It's only then that the person can begin to see that the people who convinced him/her of their worthlessness can begin to see that they were wrong.

    It is not a conscious choice that the abused make. It's all they know. For them, as it was for me, there is no other "choice" because there is no alternative that shows itself.
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” -Carl Sagan

    Real courage is found, not in the willingness to risk death, but in the willingness to stand, alone if necessary, against the ignorant and disapproving herd. --Jon Roland, 1976

    Have you checked out the Hidden Content

    Founder of the Pantsers United Group and member of the Fantasy Lords Group

    "Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful,
    insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows." - Walt Disney

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Apple Ice View Post
    Sometimes the dream of being a writer is enough for people and I would be ashamed of myself or anyone else who trampled that dream for the sake of honesty.
    If honesty (without being a jerk) is going to trample someone's dream, so be it. I'd rather have that than a bunch of "oh you can do it, just keep trying" - and then find out that I'm lousy at it. It is wasting time - time that person could have spent finding and pursuing another more attainable dream. But if someone wants to write badly enough, they aren't going to listen to the nay-sayers anyway.
    Has left the building.

  8. #58
    Conclusion: It's not the truth that matters, it's how you use it.
    "I don't know ... I'm making it up as I go ..." - Dr I Jones

    Nature abhors perfection - cats abhor a vacuum!

    "Faith can move mountains - she's a big girl!" (unknown/graffiti)

    If I act like I own the place, it's because I did.





  9. #59
    Being successful at something usually involves failing many times (and to different extremes) along the way.

    What that means is that the writers whom you critique will probably go on to fail anyway (at least until they reach success). Your comments likely won't change that process.

    You can, however, choose whether or not you're going to make that journey a positive one—or a negative one.

    Stephenie Meyer quit writing because of all the negativity aimed at her after she became successful. Now into producing, she says of writing, "I get further away every day. I am so over it. For me, it’s not a happy place to be."

    Conclude what you will from that. For me, it points out that negativity can be harmful even to successful authors.

    In the end, we're all humans, not machines. We are emotional creatures. My advice is: keep that in mind when offering your critique of another's work. Also keep in mind that what you consider to be "honesty" might very well be, in all likelihood, just your own personal opinion.

  10. #60
    Member stevesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle R View Post



    Stephenie Meyer quit writing because of all the negativity aimed at her after she became successful. Now into producing, she says of writing, "I get further away every day. I am so over it. For me, it’s not a happy place to be."

    Probably a somewhat easier choice to make when you have $125 million in the bank.

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