Sep 30, 2010
Be Careful Not To Give DOTS
For some reason, that story has been in my head a lot lately and I think it has to do with some comments that have been made in critiques a few of my writing buddies have received. While being honest and giving constructive suggestions about someone's writing is important so they can learn and grow, it doesn't mean we should "give gray dots" in the process. We need to be positive and find the good in the story and the writing, and then carefully point out where they may make changes to improve it. We also need to take into consideration where this person is in their journey as a writer. If they are just starting out, a harsh suggestion could crush their confidence and give them little hope of continuing with their dream.
I think some of us forget what it's like to be just starting out--craving the approval and praise of our peers. Where a seasoned writer with years of critiques under her belt can take a harsh comment and either dismiss it or turn it into something she can use, a novice sees it as a sign of failure. So, next time you feel the need to get out the red pen and shred someone's work, remember what it was like to be in their shoes. Put away your box of dots.
For those of you who haven't read You Are Special, I found it on YouTube. It's kinda long, but well worth the listen.