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Old 05-01-2017, 06:07 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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People pay a lot of money to get into workshops like Viable Paradise and Clarion in order to learn how to take critique. It requires being very comfortable with yourself and confident in your ability to really listen to well-reasoned criticism and act on it.

There's a good chance your friend isn't there yet. I'd say tell him that you've got some feedback that might be hard to hear, and let him confirm that he really wants critique and not happy fuzzy pats on the back. Then, be clear about where you see the weak points at, but put the emphasis on how it affects the work as a whole, and what could possibly serve to make it stronger instead.

decision tree:
1) he wants happy fuzzies
1.a) "wow, it takes a lot of work and dedication to finish something like that; congratulations"

2) he wants to improve his book
2.a) these are the parts that, at best, do not move your plot and action forward, and at worst, serve to undermine the efforts of decades of feminism.
2.b) a general description of what would serve better (but no rewriting; let him pen the words)
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