First of all, I am sorry for posting three days in a row. I try to stick to my Monday-Thursday schedule to make sure my content is meaningful, and I certainly don’t want to get annoying.
At the moment though, I really feel the need to VENT!
Never, ever EVER is it excusable to take out your frustrations on a beta read you are doing for someone. Did you get that ? N-E-V-E-R.
Rather than re-typing how I feel about this, I am pasting below what I just wrote back in response to a blog post made by Jenny Keller Ford. Read below, and then click on the link to jump over to Jenny’s blog and give her a big hug.
Ugh. That review broke my heart. I am a big believer in “say something nice, then the bad, but end it on a good note. Being outright mean is something completely different, and that sounds like what happened. There is something nice you can say about anyone.
Ummm… you spelled everything right, and that was great! Yay! Love your spelling!
I have to admit, that I am brutally honest, but I do try to wrap it up with a kiss as much as possible, and I have NEVER told someone anything was Cr*p. I am a firm believer that everyone is in a different place in their journey, and you can learn and evolve every day of your life. Every story has potential… even if you don’t particularly like it. If you don’t like something, at least say why. Don’t just write it off as junk.
The problem with the internet, and email, is that you can totally trash the person, and not see the look on their face. I am sure he would have been somewhat more tactful if he was looking right at you.
In all honesty, a beta who trashes, and does not give any suggestions is not a beta at all. I would not even consider going back to them. Now, that is not because they were harsh. I have a few harsh critiquers that I always go back to… because they are honest, and they are helpful, and they point out things I need to work on. Without them, I would not be the writer I am today. It sounds like this critique gave no value other than to make you feel bad. That is not constructive at all.
Dust off your heels. Think over what they said, and edit where you see fit… but don’t take this as a do-all “suddenly I stink and will for the rest of my life” review.
Just think. In a few years when you hit Amazon’s top 100 list, you will just look back on this and giggle.
Remember to jump over to Jenny’s blog and give her a cyber hug. She has a great story, and needs a little uplifting right now.