Monday, November 14, 2022

Open Book Blog Hop: Negative Feedback


Image by JL G from Pixabay

This week's questions for the Open Book Blog Hop:

How do you deal with negative feedback? Do you have tips for critiquing other writers’ work?

How do I deal with negative feedback?
Not very well, because I tend to take everything personally. 

I don't read reviews of my work because I could get ten good ones and the eleventh bad one will be the one that sticks with me. I'll be nearly nonfunctional for weeks. It isn't a good idea. 

When critiquing another writer's work, the team at the Write-Edit-Publish blog ( suggests using the Hamburger Method, which means sandwiching any CONSTRUCTIVE criticism between two positive statements. I can usually find at least one positive thing about any work, unless it has pissed me off to the point where the only thing I can think to say is "oh, just fuck off!" 

I rarely give one-star reviews. I recall a two-star review I felt really bad about giving because the author seemed like such a nice person. The story was tremendously convoluted. The narrative switched from one character to another to yet another with no clear point of change. There were sudden switches from past to present and between first person and third person. There was simply too much going on all at once.

I stated that although the story was interesting the above issues negatively impacted the readability. I suggested the author find a good editor and expressed my hope that she would republish the story after doing so. She was very gracious, and I felt like a complete asshole. 

There was one author who I truly believe published their unedited NaNoWriMo manuscript. It was nonstop (bad) dialogue with hardly any scene or action descriptions. Reading it literally gave me a headache. My review boiled down to "an interesting idea, but it needs to be edited."

So, yeah, I do my best to avoid negative feedback. There was a writing coach who advised her students to "develop a thick skin." I'm nearly 60 years old. I doubt that will be happening in this lifetime. 

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Ornery Owl
Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors

Therapy Frog


  1. Sadly I hear you. Particularly on taking negative criticism to heart. I am MUCH more likely to believe it, than anything positive.

  2. I have abandoned critiques when I felt the author had done such a poor job I couldn't find anything good to say!

  3. Yes, it's a good idea to look for the positives at the same time as giving constructive criticism. However, we do feel awful for giving negative feedback, and many authors won't take any notice of it anyway. It's difficult to get the balance right.

  4. I agree with you about reviews. I do read them, but only when I'm starting in a good headspace and feel like I can "take it." @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

  5. It can be a hard balance to strike, between losing a chance to learn and grow, and taking a hit that requires recovery. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

  6. Yes, I will always ignore all the positives and focus on the one bad review.


This is a safe space. Be respectful.