4kidztv said: I am an aspiring author who's been published in some small-scale stuff. I think it's about time I moved my way up into larger publications, but I have an issue: The forced politeness between authors, especially on the Internet. They refuse to criticize one another, even when it could help them! I'm building myself up to hopefully one day be a part of that community, but I take issue with this. Kurt Vonnegut, my hero, said good authors were rude. Is etiquette > integrity in your community?
I’m not sure I understand the question. I’ve never felt forced into politeness. Are you thinking of my post last night, when I wouldn’t name the book I didn’t care for? Because I do that out of a knowledge that taste in books is subjective. I fall in love with novels very rarely, making my lack of enthusiastic recommendation quite meaningless.
This is the part of your question I’m struggling with, though: how could criticizing another author help me?
Integrity is integrity, at least in my community, which is the community-of-authors-who-write-books-with-magic-in-them-whenever-not-in-an-over-powered-vehicle-or-frolicking-with-their-herds-of-miniature-silky-fainting-goats-or-playing-the-Irish-pipes.
It’s a pretty rarified community. Mileage may vary in other authorial communities.
Authors don’t (often) publicly criticize each other because we’ve all seen what happens when authors do criticize each other. It just becomes this Thing that lands everyone in Dramaville, population: gross. While entertaining to the public and click-bait for The Guardian, I’m not sure that helps anyone improve their craft.
Criticism isn’t the same as critique. And authors do critique each other, usually just not publicly. We critique prior to publication, in small trusted groups, late at night, surrounded by snacks and red pens and post-its (Or…you know, Word’s Review tools, on account of the digital age). You may not see it in public, but it is happening. And unlike criticism, critique is actually helpful.