A guy landed himself in hot water with a close friend recently and took to Reddit to find out where he’d gone wrong and if he’d been a fool. He’d given her some brutally honest critique on a novel she was writing, and it didn’t go down well at all! Here’s the full scoop.
The Tough Critic
34-year-old TC, short for tough critic, has known his friend Charlotte, 29, from graduate school for years.
They had an on-again-off-again romantic relationship, but they had a strong chemistry and rapport that allowed them to be very honest with each other.
She was an aspiring novelist and often asked TC for feedback on her writing. She had made it clear to him that she valued his straightforward and clear feedback.
One day, she asked TC to read a first draft of a short novel that she had written as a tribute to her uncle, who had recently passed away from esophageal cancer.
She Asked For Brutal Honesty
TC was skeptical about the subject matter and the character based on her uncle. When she asked for brutal honesty,
TC felt like he had permission to give her no-holds-barred notes. However, when he read the novel, he found it to be irreparably horrible.
The writing was subpar and lacked polish and attention to detail. The characters were poorly developed and lacked depth or nuance, making it difficult for readers to connect with them.
The plot was unoriginal and lacked any real sense of tension or excitement, making the book a chore to get through. TC couldn’t believe how bad it was.
He Got Carried Away
In the process of giving her feedback, TC may have gotten carried away.
He mentioned her uncle and told her that the character based on him was just some basic man and that she had given readers no reason to become invested in him.
TC said that nobody would care about the story if they didn’t care about the character and that it was a terrible way to pay respects to her uncle.
Charlotte was furious and started to tear up. She said that nothing that TC gave her was constructive, even though she specifically asked for brutal honesty.
“It’s Terrible; You Have to Redo It.”
TC truly felt like she needed to redo the entire novel, so there was nothing possibly constructive he could have said that wasn’t just, “It’s terrible; you have to redo it.”
Charlotte accused TC of disrespecting her uncle and spitting on his memory, which he totally disagreed with.
She gave him full reign to be as brutal as possible, so she shouldn’t be mad at him for doing the exact thing that she asked for.
However, TC’s response was not constructive and lacked any sense of tact or sensitivity.
He Said Hurtful Things
Instead of focusing on the writing, he brought her uncle into the conversation and said hurtful things that were not helpful to the writing process.
He could have given her constructive criticism that focused on the writing without insulting her uncle or her memory of him.
His criticism was not helpful, and it was insensitive to the emotional subject matter of the novel.
TC knew that he may have gone too far with his feedback, but he couldn’t help but feel frustrated. He had given her the brutal honesty that she asked for, and now she was mad at him for it.
She Wasn’t Ready to Be Criticized
He felt like she wasn’t ready for the type of criticism that she asked for.
TC is having a hard time understanding why she asked for brutal honesty if she wasn’t ready to hear it and is wondering if he was overly mean.
The Reddit community was quick to react to TC’s post, with many calling him a fool.
They felt that while he had been asked to give his honest opinion, he had gone too far in his criticism. They pointed out that the book was a tribute to her late uncle and that TC should have been more sensitive in his feedback.
His Comments Were Cruel
They also said that TC’s comments were cruel and that he should have found more constructive ways to give feedback without being hurtful.
Some commenters went so far as to say that TC sounded insufferable and that he was being mean.
Many Redditors pointed out that TC’s nasty tendencies were showing when he felt the need to point out that Charlotte’s uncle “wasn’t a particularly unique individual that I thought would make for an interesting subject of a novel.”
His statement was insensitive and lacked empathy for Charlotte’s feelings, as it was clear that her uncle was important to her.
He Could Have Praised Things
One Redditor suggested a different approach that TC could have taken: “From how you’ve described him to me, I think you could emphasize [these qualities] a bit more so they really show how unique he was.”
TC could have praised the things he did like in the writing, such as the length, certain bits of dialogue, or detailed descriptions of the hospital room, among others.
This approach would have been honest and constructive without being cruel and tactless.
While he thought he was doing her a favor, he may have just sabotaged their friendship. Hopefully these Reddit responses will inspire TC to apologize, and offer some genuinely constructive criticism.
What do you think about this tale? Was his brutally honest feedback too far?
The post She Told Him To Be Brutally Honest, But Got Upset By His Response. Was He Overly Cruel? first appeared on The Net Worth Of.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.