How do you tell an author they did it wrong?

I belong to a writing group that is very open and honest with each other’s writing, sometimes to the point of scathing. As much as we want that pat on the back, we want the truth so that we can be better authors.

So, I was surprised that while scrolling through social media I came across a friends post that was the equivalent of a ‘don’t listen to the bully’s’ speech.

Now I know this person is capable of filleting the preverbal flesh off an author’s writing bones, so I figured the bully must have been truly evil.

Curious about what was said, I hit the button and looked at the original post.
Though said bully could have used more tact, he was bang on target. I was shocked my friend gave false encouragement.

As an author, it gives me a high when people tell me they like my writing. Let’s face it, we all like getting praised. But if I’m doing something wrong, I need to know. Because if I don’t know, I can’t fix it. Yes, it may hurt. Yes, it can be upsetting. But I’d rather stub my toe now than have it amputated later.

So, why do people smile and say ‘don’t worry’ to your face, then turn and hork up their lunch as soon as your back is turned?
Honest opinions are rare and more valuable than flattery. What do you think?

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