For instance, one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth George, received these reviews on her latest best-selling book - Careless in Red (Amazon Reviews):
1) 600 pages! Elizabeth George is not Tolstoy. She desperately needs an editor with a CTL-x button.Here's two examples of bad critiques I've received:
2) Like a lot of people, I eagerly awaited George's latest creation but this book is so b-o-r-i-n-g! The plot goes on and on, with many superfluous characters, not many of them likable, so by the time one is halfway through the book one has resorted to skimming. Who cares about Dellen? or Ben? or Santo? or Madlyn, etc. etc. Daidre was interesting. Her friend whose name I have already erased from my memory was not. I couldn't care less about most of the characters, they ALL deserved to fall off cliffs as far as I was concerned.
1) The subject of the story is a little dark for me. While no babe in the woods, I have a difficult time with murder and cold-blooded response to anything. Your writing is, of course, brilliant, but I didn't like your character. Hard to reach out to someone, or identify with another who is in the act of murder, regardless of the reason for it. I loath abusive people, whether they are male or female, and the act of depravity that drives people to this level of emotional response is beyond my ability to comprehend. Perhaps as the story unfolds, I will warm up and understand better, but right now, I'm not sure if I would continue.
2) Unfortunately, I do not believe I will be able to offer anything really constructive to you. As for the fact is is formatted as a transcript.So, when you receive criticism like this, what do you do? Go to your local gun shop? NO! Don't do that.
Though very sparse and at times difficult to read as there is little to picture, the dialogue is both
solid and believable. Angie is more like the typical "Stupid American" who is blissfully ignorant to the world outside her own. (...)
Ordinarily, I would like to know more about where this will lead to, but I will not be able to even
struggle through the format. Sorry I could not be more helpful . . .
Instead, count to ten and calm down. Along with those two brutal reviews, I received many more encouraging ones. Ask yourself, what do the majority think?
There are reasons people give bad feedback:
1) Perhaps they feel they need to be harsh because that's what you're expecting.
2) Perhaps they're having a bad day.
3) Perhaps they're jealous.
4) Or, perhaps what you wrote is bad.
This may come as a surprise to some, I never started out as a good writer. Most of my first novels I destroyed because I thought they were rubbish. But, I improved because I took the cricism to heart and tried harder.
I also think all writers need bad feedback. It's vital. Here are my reasons:
1) If all you've ever receieved is pats on the back, you won't be ready for the publishing world where rejection and criticism is handed out by the truckloads.
2) Without bad feedback once in a while, you may never believe you need to keep improving your craft.
SO tell me, I spilled my guts, tell me what types of criticism you've received over the years?
Women of Mystery about how to find overused words in your manuscript: Use Wordle.