REVIEWS: Russell's Reviews Volume One # 7

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Sat Feb 16 18:15:41 PST 2008

On Feb 17, 1:45 am, Tom Russell <milos_par... at> wrote:

> 2. If it's really, really bad.  Not that I try to
> "rip" into people or their stories,


> but with a bad
> story I can usually point out what makes it bad and
> offer suggestions as to how to make it better.

Which is fine but it isn't a good idea to unilaterally appoint
yourself as a writing guru.  Anybody could post a story that they
think is perfectly fine and you could (even inadvertantly) be
extremely offensive when you "suggest as to how to make it better"
especially if those "suggestions" amount to the person having to
rewrite the story from scratch (which implies that you didn't like the
story at all).  I personally prefer to go looking for individual
errors and/or omissions and if there's a pattern then I'd prefer to
let them notice it themselves.  If ever you start a sentence with "The
problem with so-in-so's writing is that he tends to..." then you're
going to end up in trouble eventually, even if the person you're
reviewing doesn't say anything right away.  Even if you were a
university professor paid to grade people's writing there would be an
expectation on your part to display more tact than that.

Anyway, I haven't read your reviews lately because I haven't had time
to read the stories first so if you're displying more tact this year
then I apologise.


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