Encouragement vs Honesty - Page 8


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Thread: Encouragement vs Honesty

  1. #71
    OK. Now I know there is a misunderstanding.

    Sam, I was referring to general abuse in a young person's personal life. Not their writing life. The abuse I am referring to in my own case, and what I was trying to bring attention to might be the case for others, is emotional abuse by family members.

    If it had been nothing more than people telling me my writing was bad I would have pretty much said "Piss off" and went merrily on my way.

    What happened to me was systematic. It was also done by family members.

    The teachers words, for me, were a "straw that broke the camel's back" kind of thing.

    My point here was to try to make people aware that unnecessarily harsh words from someone here or on any other critiquing area, could very well be that same kind of case.
    “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

  2. #72
    Also helpful to differentiate the online forum environment, or online critique situation from real-life, interpersonal interaction.

    Everyone on the internet is a digital ghost. Their words can't affect you if you don't allow them to. Every hack has an ax to grind, and with the easy nature of modern communication, even the most backwoods rubes are throwing pot-shots at educated, talented people.

    I'm using every bit of this for practice to thicken my skin in hopes that, someday, I have work out there for public review and that's when it gets really harsh and not very encouraging at all.

    Again I agree with everyone who's advocating for honesty without mean-spiritedness but not for just placating writers who want their egos stroked.



  3. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Pluralized View Post
    Again I agree with everyone who's advocating for honesty without mean-spiritedness but not for just placating writers who want their egos stroked.
    So do I.

    I think some may have misconstrued what I was saying.
    “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

  4. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by T.S.Bowman View Post
    My point here was to try to make people aware that unnecessarily harsh words from someone here or on any other critiquing area, could very well be that same kind of case.
    I think that a writer's personal history is not something that should be considered when doing a critique of their writing - "unnecessarily harsh words" should not be used regardless. However, the fact that the writer led a hard life or had bad experiences should also not be considered because it doesn't change the fact that their writing is good or bad or salvageable or not. I'm not a social worker, a psychologist, a counselor - I'm doing a critique of a person's writing. Period. If their personal life prevents them from dealing appropriately with my not unnecessarily harsh words or their perception of "unnecessarily harsh words", then they need to find a way to deal with their personal problems first.
    Has left the building.

  5. #75
    My point here was to try to make people aware that unnecessarily harsh words from someone here or on any other critiquing area, could very well be that same kind of case.
    I'm not going to care if the writer saw their whole family murdered in front of their eyes; writing is writing, and I will only assess it on its own. Unnecessarily harsh words shouldn't be used full stop, but necessary harshness? Sometimes that's the antidote to someone's problems, inside or outside the craft. Either way, I'm not going to care. I'm just going to say what I thought about the piece and assume that the writer knows that I don't care about their personal life beyond what they've posted.

    If someone's been through a lot, then remaining objective is more likely to be the way to go.
    Sleep is for the weak, or sleep is for a week.
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    I write about anime and internet culture at Hidden Content

  6. #76
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    I simply say what I think will benefit the author as deferentially as possible; in a way that will get the message across. I know what I appreciate in the way of a critique, so for me, it's just another application of the golden rule. I can't worry about how other people do it.

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by astroannie View Post


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


    I'd go along with that.
    If i post a comment on a "WIP", LOOK! I'm a reader that's all, and i can only tell how i feel, as a READER, giving/offering feedback. Hoping to learn and grow here. So please, tell me where i'm going wrong.

    Me? I'm just a fly on the wall.

    Look! I'm trying, okay?

    One can but dream, if only i had dared.

    "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong" Mahatma Gandhi.
    Alas, i am weak.

    I must find a way to Eastbourne and i so wish that i could dance.

  8. #78
    If Stephanie had been to WF and posted her work, she probably would have never published it if she'd gotten some of the negative comments then, that she gets now that she's published and sold more books than possibly many of the members on this site's sales combined. What is 'good' writing is so subjective. At its heart, fiction writing is telling a story, and there are a lot of ways to tell a story. Not everyone is trying to write literary fiction. I expect that if Donna Tartt had workshopped Goldfinch, she'd have had a lot of folks telling her "more showing and less telling" (I might have..LOL) yet she won a Pulitzer prize. So in addition to the straightforward (imho), "you can give honest feedback in a tactful manner", I think it is good for every writer to have a healthy dose of humility and realize that some of what they are saying is their opinion and may not even be the opinion of the majority. (Not talking about specific SPaG issues and other technical things). Anyway, don't get me wrong, I am REALLY appreciative of the help I get here, just saying this in the context of encouragement vs. honesty. Early on in this thread, Kyle quoted to examples of feedback where one was honest and tactful, and the other, while maybe honest, was unnecessarily harsh.


    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."


  9. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
    I'm not going to care if the writer saw their whole family murdered in front of their eyes; writing is writing, and I will only assess it on its own. Unnecessarily harsh words shouldn't be used full stop, but necessary harshness? Sometimes that's the antidote to someone's problems, inside or outside the craft. Either way, I'm not going to care. I'm just going to say what I thought about the piece and assume that the writer knows that I don't care about their personal life beyond what they've posted.

    If someone's been through a lot, then remaining objective is more likely to be the way to go.
    A writer's personal problems are one thing. I agree that they (in most cases) shouldn't play a factor when delivering a critique.

    However, the writer's emotions in regard to how they feel about themselves as a writer? I believe it's simple (and obvious) courtesy to keep those in mind.

    Nowadays, I try my best not to undermine someone's confidence in themselves as a writer.

    I believe some reviewers make the mistake of offering overly harsh, purely analytical responses. They're not critiquing the writer, they reason—they are critiquing the writing.

    Except, the writing is not going to be reading your critique—the writer will be the one reading your words.

  10. #80
    Negativity only brings hurt. I'm not okay hurting others to make myself feel smarter, as if I know more than they do. I would rather tell someone they need to work on something in a kind way. After all it is just my opinion I'm giving, not advice that's going to make or break their career.

    Encouragement goes so much farther in life. Negativity sucks and drags you down.

    No matter where I am, what situation I'm in, I'm going to encourage you. You can do anything you want to do, you just have to want it bad enough! You just have to work hard enough for it. If I can give someone even one good feeling about their work, I want to do that.

    I wish positivity and encouragement was a little louder on this forum.
    for kyle: Freel Barter Braby Hidden Content

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