If you can’t say anything nice….

A while ago I wrote a very bad scene for my book. I knew it was bad, one of the main characters was very one dimensional and the whole premise was too obvious. After much deliberation I worked out how to fix it by completely re-writing that character. On a whim I posted the original scene being very open that I didn’t like and was going to change it. I expected some comments back telling me it was a load of do-do. Strangely enough for a whole day I got nothing, not a murmur. Well I got a few polite likes. This just goes to show what a nice group you all are. I suspect it was so bad you couldn’t bring yourself, it would be like kicking a sick puppy.

Eventually Kirizar and Aussiean2011 took a stiff drink and waded into the affray. Did they throw rocks at me laugh at my bad constructed character? No they said encouraging things about it. Kirizar even got me on my favourite subject Harry Potter.

One of my favourite sayings of my late mother was ‘if you can’t say anything nice don’t say it.’ In lots of situations that is sterling advice but in the realm of my book I wouldn’t mind a bit of criticism it can be very helpful.

On a final point when I was telling my wife of the strange lack of negative comments she looked at me and said. ‘If you knew it was bad why did you bother posting it?’ To that I have no answer other than maybe I have a touch of the masochist in me, but then hasn’t every writer?

book pencil

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18 thoughts on “If you can’t say anything nice….

  1. To be honest with a lot of my writing I want the criticism. I want to know what I need to do to improve. Of course I want the criticism to be constructive which I say falls in the category of saying something nice. Tell me what is bad and offer suggestions for improvement. Don’t just tell me “you are bad and you suck” that is worthless I want details. I hurts, hurts like hell even when constructive but it is needed. Refinement by fire much like gold, it’s hot and painful melting out those impurities but the end result is pure gold and that is worth it.

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  2. It sometimes is a fine line to walk but it is possible to be constructively critical without being “mean” or “judgmental.” One cannot improve and evolve unless you know where/what you need to focus on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Even if you knew it was bad, you were probably hoping for a bit of constructive criticism? You know, I don’t think criticism has to be necessarily ‘bad’. As long as we learn something from it, it can only be good.

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  4. Enjoyed your self analysis Eric, all criticism is good for me mate, it means I have got someones attention for a fleeting moment in time, if it’s good criticism it means they will come back to me, if it’s bad criticism it means they too will come back to me to see if I have improved, all round it’s a win/win situation to the writer. Don’t be too critical on yourself mate, sit on the fence with your characters if you wish, I will return to see which side of the fence you fall on.
    Cheers
    http://aussieian2010.wordpress.com/
    http://aussieemu.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

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