For my Fiction Workshop class we’re supposed to read our classmate’s stories, and then give them a half-page write up with feedback. This is all well and good, and I know it will help everyone go become more proficient and giving feedback, which will make them better at critiquing their own work. However, I’m finding that I’m being a bit too critical of some of my classmates.
I understand that a lot of them haven’t decided they want to be full-time writers, and that they don’t write all the time. I, personally, am glad I decided so early. It gives me the advantage over everyone else who started writing later in their lives. I just get to physical write for several more years than someone who may have started writing in their 50′s. But that doesn’t mean that I need to break down someone’s work because they do a little too much telling and not enough showing showing. I mean, who am I to judge? I’m not perfect.
Now, I’m not being mean at all. At least, I’m not trying to be. But, for those of us who have received a negative review, we all know how it can sound like the person is being a jerk. So, I always try to end the review with something positive.
I’m not telling them their work is bad, either. I’m only making suggestions on how they could, in my opinion, make it better. For those in the class who want to pursue writing, they’d better get used to being critiqued and having a thick skin.
Do you ever feel like you’re being too critical of someone else’s work?