I just finished reading and critiquing a full manuscript. I was really honored that this person asked and truly I think the work has merit, but now that I’ve returned the manuscript I’m a little worried I didn’t couch my language to be a little more uplifting. Maybe I gave too much criticism and didn’t say enough nice things. Maybe I could have softened my criticisms. I’m not very sensitive, a result of having older siblings who relentlessly tortured me my entire life until I moved out. I suppose I can thank them for my thick skin. I don’t bruise easy.
That said, I would never want someone to rip me apart in such a way to make me feel there is no hope. Honesty is key in good critiques, but I don’t believe in harshness.
Maybe I can improve my critique skills.
With that in mind what’s the most effective criticism someone has given you and why do you think it was so effective? It can be for something other than writing. Do you prefer to be ripped to shreds? A harsh slap in the face? Or do you need a hug to go with the punch? What’s your philosophy on giving criticism?