I spent quite a lot of time with my big sis cleo1969
discussing the damage inflicted on new writers by bad fic and bad feedback.
I know that livejournal is full of such discussions... it is one place where a lot of fic and feedback goes around, but I am in a place at the moment in which writing for me is a pretty tricky subject, as my mate, toby_white_wolf
and a few others that had to deal with my temper tantrums recently know well. Yesterday they managed to persuade me to write a fic. I started a second one, then I read a very bad fic, with bad feedback included and I simply closed the file. I am feeling fragile in my writing at the moment, so I decided instead to post this, trying to clear my mind on the subject a little with hopefully a little help from my f-list.
I am a terrible perfectionist. At my annual review my boss had to argue with me because I always thought he was too generous with my markings. I also have a low self esteem, and I tend to be easily discouraged by compliments. Yes, by compliments. Flames i ignore. Criticism I listen to, compliments... I don't believe them.
That's why I do hate feedback of the "Good job" quality. Leaving aside the issue of the the good intentions of leaving this kind of feedback, I think it is not only useless, but also damaging to writers, new or old alike for the following reasons:
1) This kind of comment tend to be given indiscriminately, not helping other readers to discriminate.
2) and not helping new writers in understanding what is good, what simply fits the models and what is seriously bad.
3) No fic and no writer is perfect. Part of the writer's job, as moonshayde
was pointing out so eloquently recently is to keep learning . Feedback is one way to point out to a writer what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. If you don't want to tell them what's wrong, at least tell them what they did particularly right.
4) Even pointing out good things is helpful to other readers that in this way may get to look at a fic in a different way.
I think I could go on for a couple of hours here, but I'll stop here and open up the discussion to the floor.
How do you like your feedback? Do you think that every fic deserve a kind word or should we be discerning? Writers do you find the feedback left to you useful?
ETA: Thanks to everybody who has until now partecipated to the dicussion. You are being terrific, helping me a lot and I want more!
And to encourage you I was just checking Fandom_Wank and found this: http://www.journalfen.net/community/fandom_wank/980296.html#cutid1