I say, I promise, I’m not sensitive. My feelings won’t be hurt. I want you to tear it up! Tell the truth. Tell me what if anything is wrong with this story and I don’t want you to hold anything back.
What do I get?
Wow. That’s really good.
Thanks for nothing. Just thanks.
At the risk of sounding arrogant, which I’ve often been accused of anyway, I already believe my writing is good. What I don’t believe is that it is perfect. So, when I’ve given my writing to someone for critique and input, I want some good to honest, this is what I think is wrong with your story, stuff.
Believe me when I say that if I don’t think your advice will work for me, I will not use it. I don’t expect you to have hard feelings about that, and I promise not to have hard feelings because you suggested it. But, “Wow. That’s really good,” doesn’t work for me. It is no help. You may as well have not read the story. I’m glad you were entertained but, really? According to some close sources of mine, my head is already swollen to the size of the moon, so do you really think I need you pumping it up even further? As a matter of fact, if you start pumping that hot air, I’m liable to think you’re lying and that the story flat out sucks.
I recently asked someone to take a peek at a story that I wrote over a year ago and for the very first time, I got some truly helpful feedback. It was so helpful that I am busily rewriting this story and am feeling more confident than ever about submitting it when it is done. This person told me that there were some really lovely parts, and that there were also some global issues that needed to be corrected. Free to take or leave this advice, I mulled it over for a couple of weeks, and along with some suggestions that I received via some of the good folks over at the Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, I feel really confident about this story.
Uh oh. Is that my head that bumped the ceiling or the other way around.
All joking aside, critiquing, beta reading, inputting, whatever you want to call it, is serious. At least it is to me. And as ungrateful as I may sound, please just save it if all you have to offer is, “Wow. That’s really good,” because I already think its good. Otherwise I wouldn’t be showing it to you.