April 7, 2014

Honest Feedback

Dear M,

Continuing from our discussion on Rave Reviews, when we share our stories with our friends and family, they also are under tremendous pressure to live up to expectations. They tell themselves, the reason why they shared this story with me is so that I can give them an honest feedback. If I say well-written, nice, etc. they are going to be disappointed. So, in the public domain, I could praise them to my heart's content, but privately I need to inform them what areas they could improve on. And they go through the story in critical detail.

The result is that we get an email from them with their "honest feedback." Ouch.

The plot could be further developed.
The attempt was good, but the execution did not live up to it.
The characters were one-dimensional.
The writing was okay, but I found it phoney and contrived at places.
The theme did not come out properly, you could try to bring it out further.
The elaborate descriptions could have been avoided.


Okay. Deep breath. I read through them fifty times - up and down, down and up. I go back to the story and read it up and down, keeping these comments in mind.

In the end, I shamefacedly confess to myself that I have absolutely no idea what they meant when they said the plot "could be developed". I had developed it as I saw fit. I had developed and developed and developed till there was nothing else left to develop. Tell me how, I want to scream.

Attempt and execution? I have put all my attempts into the execution. Don't talk Greek.

The characters - yes, I get that. I know how to give them more shades. That's something I understand. But did you mean all characters? All of them were absolutely dull and single-dimensional? Come on.

Phoney writing?
Bringing out the theme?
What in the world are you trying to say?

I know what you mean, I write back to them. Thanks a lot for your comments. I will definitely try to work on those.

Then I throw the story to one side and start on another.


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  1. It also happens in other way around. People comment that it was a great article & you wonder what was 'great' in that..!!