I thought this was a good question brought up in a different thread and merits it's own thread. I think message forums full of new writers isn't always the best place to find constructive criticism. Often, neophyte writer's don't have the tools, vocabulary/experience, to offer constructive criticism. While they are often seeking it, and in places like this, are forced to give critiques before posting, when they really don't know how. That's when we get "You story sucks." and stuff like that. Though I have caught myself thinking this phrase above when reading through some stuff found on the internet, I would never say it like that. As a more experienced writer, I know that everyone has the ability to push deeper and make things better. So, even if the first draft of an awful short story sucks, it isn't a full example of what the writer will be capable of after some practice. I try to stay away from general terms of, the story line just wasn't interesting, because most stories can be made to be interesting, it just takes some re-working. Even if they say they know spelling and grammar might not be perfect (usually as a way of avoiding having too much red ink on their page) I will always point out what I find, because otherwise how will they learn? If someone is posting something up, without having gone through it a couple of times to check for grammatical and spelling mistakes, then they shouldn't be posting it. If I see something that starts out grammatical wrong, and continues throughout the whole piece, I won't critique it. It shows me that the author couldn't be considerate enough to even try for proper grammar. I don't read inconsiderate people's work. Those types of pieces are also telling about the writer and their potential to be a serious writer. Grammar, spelling, word choices, and stylistic design are all major parts of the craft of telling stories. While not everyone can spin an interesting story, what makes it interesting is the words used to describe it. The flow and the rhythm of the sentences, paragraphs, and chapters is very important. I think we can find some good critiquers on boards like this, though, who are either published, or almost publishable writers. Usually, they will give more line by line fixes, and try to help the writer understand what went wrong. Now I am not saying all new writers can't critque, because that would just be silly. Of course new writers can critique, and many probably do it well. But, they are good readers. They read a lot. They know what they like, or don't like, and are able to spot problems in other's work, even if they can't always help themselves. I think these types of people on message boards also give pretty good critiques. As was said in the other thread, writers just have to "pull on their big girl panties" and deal with criticism as it comes, constructive or not. Constructive criticism will always help the writer, whether he is open to it or not...it will seep in under the resentment and change will occur no matter how resistant they are at first.