There’s been a lot of buzz on Wattpad of late about what constitutes good criticism–what should and shouldn’t be allowed in a writing critique; who can and should give a critique vs. who shouldn’t.
Here’s my stance on the matter: there’s no such thing as a bad critique.
Okay, let me qualify that a little. Personal attacks on the author or death threats (yes, I’ve seen one or two on Wattpad) should not be permissible. But other than that, anything goes. A reviewer can say they hate a character, they hate the writing, they hate the description, they hate a word, they hate the whole damn story. At the end of the day, both story reviews and critiques are a matter of opinion. You can’t have a wrong opinion.
Don’t get me wrong–getting a bad review or a harsh critique stings. I say I love getting criticism–and I do on an intellectual level–but when someone tells me they hate an aspect of the story or something doesn’t work for them, it hurts my pride. Sometimes. Other times, I want to hug the reviewer for pointing out something obvious that makes my story that much better. To the Paladin reader who told me that “White Castle” was a stupid name for a castle, I thank you. I totally didn’t make the connection to everyone’s favorite square-shaped burgers.