Wow! You know, guys, if you had been half as harsh on my first sub, I'd never have been back.
I agree that it was abysmally bad, but a lot of the comments were taunting or mockeries, rather than any kind of effort to encourage or mentor him. We all have to start somewhere, and I don't know of any writer who, when talking about his first efforts, doesn't say something to the effect of 'reading it now made me squirm with embarrassment'. At least he is putting something of himself on the line, which most people wouldn't dream of doing; he deserves something more than a put-down for that.
I firmly agree with Wulfhere and dark_dragon and the later posters. Agony - keep at it. Your later subs were significantly better, keep writing and improving.
I agree with everything you said, but I wonder if we were a little hard on him. It is usually a good thing, particularly with new posters, that, in addition to critiquing them, we also find something good to say. That's been my experience as a Creative Writing teacher. Something like:
Welcome. It's good to get fresh ideas. You showed good enthusiasm, but your subject was kind of cliched. After all, mad gnomish inventors with their flying machines are very common. You would probably do better if you hit 'Edit' under your sub and tried to come up with something new and different, such as ........
Go to Comment
What do you think? I agree that it wasn't very good, but if he never comes back, he'll never get any better. Don't we have a duty to encourage as well as critique? Or is my teacher mode getting the best of me?