I admit it. When I gathered up people to review my work and give me feedback on my stories that I accepted all comers. I was just thrilled that friends and acquaintances were interested. But as time goes on, it is clear that I need to prune back the group which is like an overgrown tree.
As I have recently tweeted, I let one woman go because she never had anything nice to say about anything. Every comment was snarky and unhelpful to the point of nitpicking. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when she started complaining that I was “showing” where she thought I should be “telling” and visa versa. Not one passage was right to her. She also complained about me having a scene at night when she felt certain it should be during the day. Nothing pleased her and, after conferring with several others reviewing my work, I decided that she was just a bitter person who might know how to write, but who did not know how to deal with other authors.
On the opposite end of the spectrum I have today told another reviewer who “loves” everything and never has a critical thing to say about my work that if she does not start actually critiquing and start giving more than 100% kudos that I will have to drop her from the group as well. I don’t need a “yes man/woman”. I need real opinions.
I will be looking at other people in the review group over the coming weeks as well to try and make the group stronger. I want to produce a good product. The only way to do that is to have serious opinions I can trust.