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Well-written reviews explain flaws that will be obvious to the target audience. If you can’t offer solutions you may not understand the story or storylogue in general to be effective in a review. I wait until I have a solution for each problem I bring up.

As a courtesy to the author, criticism works best as impersonal perspective in exchange for warning the audience of what they need to bring to the experience.

Ever notice you can read a critical review and then like the story just fine? Good criticism helps the audience understand how to approach the story. Scathing criticism is usually an attempt to buffer a serious-to-fatal flaw with humor instead of direction. Sometimes people cannot be honest about their work because they use it to self identify. That’s unfortunate.

All the criticism to my work so far has been understandable to me, thankfully before publishing. Insight and appreciation are both rewarding to read. I’d rather know than not because I’d like to improve. I’d also rather not find out in a public review of a book that’s already published. If it turns out to be accurate, I’d feel somewhat betrayed by my editor and publisher for not being honest with me in the initial development. For this reason I move my projects ahead with a lot of personal skepticism, very slowly. Perhaps I’m just the sort of person who would be hit hard if I found out my final draft was worthless. But I’ve yet to write anything that perfect.

This might be why I take it as a given that what I review will have flaws and that my suggestions and the improvements from others are just part of the process on the way from sneak-preview to final draft. I’ve always found a bad thing happens when you run out of improvement – the project stops being interesting. Luckily at that point it’s done.