Politically Correct Reviews
This Politically Correct stuff is just going too far. I never did like the concept of anyone being treated with kid gloves just because they were...whatever. That seems to me to only accentuate the differences that are trying to be eliminated, and awfully condescending. Most people don’t need laws or rules or oaths to be decent human beings. I am going to narrow this whole PC fiasco down to the subject of critiquing.
In the olden days before Politically Correct was born, writers understood the difference between constructive criticism and a negative, personal flame. They knew what they were going to get when they asked for a critique, and good writers used what they could to improve their work. Bad writers did as they still do today; they ignored it. That was okay then and it’s okay today. But, it was certainly not a crime for a reviewer to point out an area that wasn't working for them.
In today’s world if you give a critique, there will be more than one person protesting the reviewer, and reminding them of the old adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” This charge is not always led by the writer. It’s often led by a PC observer who has not read the work and doesn’t care if the criticism hit its mark or not.
If a writer intends to share his work by publishing it, even if it’s an online writers group, they are opening up their work to constructive criticism. It doesn’t matter if it’s a writing to release their pent-up emotions or just for fun. If it's posted publicly, they are publicly asking for opinions. What they do with those opinions is their business. But, no one has the right to insist that all feedback be praise, not even the writer. Nor do they have the right to restrict the public comments to those that rave and praise.
If they truly don't want critiques or low rates, all they have to do is post an author's note at the top of the page stating this. Tell the readers it's a personal piece and they aren't looking for reviews. They can still receive readers and stars. Readers should respect their requests and not critique the piece! Read, Comment and Rate is okay.
Keeping constructive reviews private robs the members who view the public review page of the opportunity to learn and grow.
It keeps those members who do want constructive feedback from receiving it because...
- these advocators are very good at discouraging the reviewers who want to help.
Imagine, a writing site where constructive reviews are not encouraged.
Catering to a small group who complains
of constructive feedback is done to the detriment of those who hope
to publish someday. Anyone who writes merely to bask in the warmth of
praise isn't interested in publishing in the same way. He is a
dabbler. He doesn't want or need critiques. Some don't, and that's
okay. But, they really should say so. They should not set the
standard for those who are ready and willing to work hard.
A writer wants to tell the best story he’s capable of telling. He’s willing to put in the hard work, and he will at least try to accept ‘negative’ constructive feedback without dissolving like cotton candy. He might cry and hit the wall, but he always comes back. He isn’t destroyed by one or two critiques. A real writer knows the difference between a personal flame and a constructive critique.
If a writer has the strength to post
and share his work in a public forum, he has the strength to receive
criticism without falling apart. Both are inside him and we should be
helping members reach that strength, instead of assuring them their
work is already perfect and they don’t need to listen to those mean
ol’ reviewers. Stuff like that only stops a writer where he stands; it takes away all incentives to improve and actually make a name for himself.
By giving only Politically Correct reviews, we’re keeping them down where they will never learn and improve.
Now tell me, is that nice?
© Copyright 2006