META/POLL: The Purpose of Criticism

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Mon Feb 18 12:45:48 PST 2008

On Feb 17, 8:34 pm, Martin Phipps <martinphip... at>

>  And, yes, Tom, the negative comments you make can easily be
> made about your own writing.

Because I somehow have trouble accepting valid negative criticism?

>  If something doesn't work for you as entertainment
> then say so and feel free to speculate as to why.

That's exactly what I'm doing, and I'm trying to be constructive about
it by offering my advice.  It's not the last word and not necessarily
the right one-- just my opinion, take it or leave it.

 But don't expect
> anybody to write simply to please you: I've tried that and it worked
> so far as I got better reviews from you but then I actually felt bad
> about my own writing because I wasn't writing for my own entertainment
> anymore.  

Good Lord, why would you do that?  I don't expect anyone to write just
to "please" me.  God, whether I like the story or not, write it
however you want to write it-- I don't want anyone to do anything
differently than they choose to and the spirit in which I offer my
criticism is completely antithetical to making someone want to
"please" me.

> And in a situation where nobody is getting paid, it is kind
> of important that the author himself have fun, isn't it?

If that's seriously the effect I'm having on you, Martin, you'll
excuse me if I don't review your stuff anymore.  If anyone else
doesn't want my feedback, please say so-- it's less for me to read and
less for me to write about.

Everyone else-- I'll continue to offer my criticism in the same way I
have been if there are no objections?


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