Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Everyone enjoys positive feedback. “I like your stories!” “You’re funny!” It’s a nice little ego boost, and I know a positive comment in a critique cheers me up after seeing all the mistakes. But writers do need SOME negative feedback. Not mean of course, but “This doesn’t make sense to me” or “I’m pretty sure that ducks are capable of flight”. Think of the most glaring, cringe inducing error you’ve ever read in a work of fiction. Don’t you wish someone got a little more negative?

Positively Awful Advice

1. “Your refusal to let laws of physics and common sense hold you back is really impressive.”

2. “There’s no law saying that character names have to be the same throughout the entire book.”

3. “If people don’t get what you’re describing, it’s because you’re a misunderstood genius.”

4. “It’s quantity, not quality that counts. Five hundred thousand is just more words to love.”

5. “Spelling rules are only like five hundred years old. That’s way shorter than written language. You go with what feels right.”

6. “Bah. What’s continuity every done for anyone?”

7. “Your incorrect information maligns an entire culture, but who cares? None of those people are in your target audience.”

8. “‘Plagiarism.’ ‘Stealing.’ “Copyright infringement.’ They’re just words.”

9. “Commas really are subjective.”

10. “So are grammar.”


  1. None of those people are your target audience - funny!

  2. 500,000 words makes a great door stop.

  3. There's a comic book writer named Bendis whose entire work ethic is summed up by #6.

  4. Some people can't be helped. If they're serious about improving their writing, they'll seek out people who will help them improve their work. If they're not, they'll find yes-men who will only tell them how wonderful they are.

    And I'll only read their published work once. Although, I'm not promising to finish.

  5. Oh, no, that's not the rules. The rules are that you can never say anything negative. At all. You can just go look at all the "unhelpful" votes I get on Amazon when I give a popular movie a negative review.

    Did you hear the thing in the news recently about how some service companies are adding it into their contracts that you can't leave any kind of negative review or say anything bad about them? There's actually a couple being sued for a not inconsequential amount of money for writing a negative review about a company in a blog post.

  6. Hysterical!
    Yeah, some people prefer only positivity. I recall one guy, back when I used to write reviews for self-published books, who became irate when I declined to read his book, let alone review it. I told him I'd checked out the sample pages on his website and saw that he could not maintain verb tense over the first two pages of his book. Present tense, past tense. Meh. Go with what feels right, as you said in # 5. I told him his book needed more editing. Not a popular statement!

  7. Those are positively awful, lol! I always give both positive and negative comments in my reviews, nicely of course, but honest. I think honest negative feedback gives credibility to positive ones and vice versa. People who don't want to hear the negative stuff are those who aren't interested in improving themselves. Sad actually.


Please validate me.