I don't particularly care if my SF is hard, soft, or mushy; I care whether or not I give a darn about who's in it and what happens.
People see your results, not your efforts. By design.
Something that disturbs us can be profound, but that does not mean disturbance is profundity, or a certain route to same.
We don't want validation just to know that we're doing the right thing, but also to know we're not doing the wrong things.
The story of a never-written project that made me realize why I don't want to rub the misery of our moment in people's faces and call that art.
I still want to review stuff, it's just making stuff that's taken first priority.
"It is not possible for reviewers and critics to provide what they purport to provide — and for which writers so ridiculously and childishly yearn." (Doris Lessing)
My advice for how to give truly constructive feedback on someone else's work.
Friends of mine and I were talking about the idea of a canon or pantheon of great movies, and how to select them. We had a fun debate about the criteria, and eventually I drew up a list.
One must have concrete critical standards of some kind, or one ends up in a kind of death spiral of hopeless idealism.
Learning to find your own take on things you read or watch gives you a sense of what you can bring to your own work, too.
The problem with much criticism: it proceeds from the flawed premise that art is hierarchical.
Why SF&F have something to teach us even when it isn't "real".
If people critique your themes or intentions, that's a sign you've leveled up.
More on how most writers are not good givers of writerly feedback. Few people are.
On how my friend and fellow writer Matt is against the idea of the "hook" as a narrative mechanism.
Why I no longer write reviews of stuff for my own site.
What's the difference between an appreciation of something and making excuses for it?
A good critic of other work makes me look at my own and feel like I've missed even the standards I wanted to set for myself.
You miss out on less than you think.
Very few people are qualified to give useful story advice because they think the main function of a story is to entertain them.
On gauging artistic quality by way of popularity, always a bad move.
"Workshop" is the wrong word for the place where we come to mutually improve our writing.
When you look at something, you have to be willing to not pretend that it needs to be great in order to justify anything.
No critic can ever "ruin" a work you like, unless you don't know what their job really is.