META/POLL: The Purpose of Criticism

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Sun Feb 17 10:23:50 PST 2008

I'd like to get a wider number of opinions on criticism in general,
and on my most recent criticisms in particular.

In providing feedback, I try to celebrate things I find exemplary in a
piece of writing.  When I find something lacking, I try to offer
suggestions on how to make it better.  I do not try to "attack" anyone
or anyone's work.  I do not do MSTings and, with the extremely notable
exception of work I find morally offensive, I do not harraunge or say
that a story is "awful" or excremental.

In your opinion:

1. Is this basically how feedback can and should work?

2. If not, how should one provide feedback?

3. Is offering suggestions and alternatives, and pointing out flaws,
tantamount to attacking a work or author?


1. Authors whose work has been under review, do you find "Russell's
Reviews" to be mostly helpful or unhelpful?

2. Readers whose work is not under review, do you find it to be mostly
helpful or unhelpful?

I'd really like as many answers as possible.  Thank you for your time.


More information about the racc mailing list