8 comments on “Poor Form.

  1. I agree, as mature thinking people we should be trusted to state our opinions on piece of work or a theory, political, philosophical, whatever, without what we say being a personal insult to the person who created the work or stated the theory. I think that this is where some of the problems between people arise, especially on the net as there may be a lack of the non-verbal communication or cultural differences, etc. So that when someone is challenged they may take it personally rather than welcoming the challenge to help them become better or generate debate and discussion. It is entirely possible to respect a person while disagreeing with what they say or thinking that their creative work lacks quality.

    • I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, here. Having a very definite opinion on a piece of work, however negative, and expressing it is all too often taken as a personal attack, rather than an opportunity to discuss the point — and even disagree with it. In many respects, I do think the Internet — or people’s inability to maintain the necessary perspective whilst using the medium — plays a part. Something is posted online and it’s read repeatedly by the individual concerned, and, all too often, it becomes disproportionate. We have to do learn to “turn the volume down” and cope with Internet-based criticism more effectively. And, of course, we’ll never do that by simply, as this individual suggested, avoiding it.

  2. As both a writer and reader of many scripts, honesty with constructive feedback is always the best policy… i find. People should always be encouraged to be creative but like anything artistic its all about taste and personal opinion, what you love i may hate. I would rather someone hate my work than find it ‘interesting’.

    • Couldn’t agree more, Sally. Give me honest disagreement than dishonest agreement any day.

      And, of course, outside of the professional/critiquing realm, it would also be quite absurd if we, as writers, felt ourselves somehow forbidden from discussing — as vehemently as we wish — the writers we dislike.

  3. yes, I actually found the two-star amazon review of my book very enlightening as it ran to several paragraphs, it has helped consolodate some of my thoughts for future writing. though I wonder if it was motivated by sour grapes.

    • I must admit, I’ve been extremely fortunate with reviews, so far. The criticisms I have had, on the whole, missed the point — but even this made me question certain things. Why had they missed the point? Was this a failing on my part or theirs?… My conclusion was that, since the vast majority “got it”, it was probably largely a failing on their part.

      I do think it’s important not to treat reviews as if they were critiques by our peers, though. I do give them careful consideration but I don’t want to fall into the trap of trying to write for everyone, you know? Some people will always dislike what I do and, if I’m honest, I’d probably be worried if these individuals didn’t dislike it! 🙂

  4. I agree you can’t write for everyone and wouldn’t want to. With a book like mine – appeals to a niche – that is even more important. I’d like to think that people who aren’t gay would enjoy reading it but that would be a bonus rather than the objective, and I think a lot of readers expected me to want to appeal to the mainstream.

    • Well, I haven’t read it yet — it’s in my Amazon basket — but, as a straight bloke, I still find it potentially interesting enough from what I’ve read about it to want to buy it. And before anyone responds with smart arse comments, don’t! LOL

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